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Iran is building a copy of RQ-170 Sentinel, the US surveillance drone captured last year


Iran has begun building a copy of RQ-170 Sentinel, the US surveillance drone it captured last year, after breaking its encryption codes, Tehran officials say.

“The Americans should be aware to what extent we have infiltrated the plane,” General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, military aerospace chief said.

The RQ-170 Sentinel was shown on Iranian state television last December.

Tehran says it was brought down using electronic warfare; Washington says it malfunctioned.

US Senator Joe Lieberman dismissed the claim that a copy was being made as “Iranian bluster” saying, “they’re on the defensive because of our economic sanctions against them”.

Iran has begun building a copy of RQ-170 Sentinel, the US surveillance drone it captured last year, after breaking its encryption codes

Iran has begun building a copy of RQ-170 Sentinel, the US surveillance drone it captured last year, after breaking its encryption codes

But Gen Hajizadeh said: “Our experts have full understanding of its components and programmes.”

He said that Iran had managed to hack the controls of the drone, thus enabling the Iranians to reverse-engineer the aircraft to make its own copy.


US officials have previously asked for the drone to be returned but Iran has refused, saying that the US should instead apologize for invading Iranian air space.

Washington has long said that Iran will find it hard to exploit any data and technology aboard it because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.

Although analysts believe lessons could certainly be learnt about how the machine was put together, reverse-engineering has generally been seen by experts as beyond Iran’s capability.

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Roy likes politics. Knowledge is power, Roy constantly says, so he spends nearly all day gathering information and writing articles about the latest events around the globe. He likes history and studying about war techniques, this is why he finds writing his articles a piece of cake. Another hobby of his is horse – riding.