(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran has started to construct a duplicate of the US-manufactured
unmanned aerial vehicle Tehran claims it downed last year when it was
spotted flying over Iranian territory, Iranian news agency Mehr reported
Sunday, citing a Revolutionary Guards commander.
construction of the new drone, announced by Revolutionary Guards
Commander Brigadier Amirali Hajizadeh to commemorate the founding of the
Revolutionary Guards, is based on data extracted from the downed spy
plane, which the Iranian military claims it was able to ground without
causing substantial damage to the aircraft.
discussed Iran's successful decoding of the memory of the US's RQ -170
Sentinel, according to an Iranian News Agency (IRNA) report on Sunday.
The two commanders added that Iran repaired any minor damage that had
been caused to the drone.
The RQ-170 Sentinel has been widely
used since 2010 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It played a role in the operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed last year, analysts say.
repeatedly displayed images of the American stealth plane through
Iranian media, attempting to prove it skillfully captured the drone. The
UAV is 5.4 meters in length, and has a wingspan of 26 meters, Mehr
The aircraft is able to avoid detection by radar systems through
"special materials that compose its exterior," according to the report.
downing of the American drone was an embarrassment for the Obama
administration, which subsequently asked Iran to return the plane.
Iranian defense official said recently that Tehran has received
numerous requests for information on the craft and that China and Russia
have shown most interest.Iran reasserts claims over Persian Gulf islands
also told IRNA that the three islands of Abu Musa, Great and Lesser
Tunb are "inalienable" parts of Iran and claims of certain Arab heads of
states in this concern are "baseless."
Iran and the United Arab
Emirates have recently exchanged public jabs over rights to the islands
which technically remain in dispute, but practically are already under
Navy Commander Fadavi said Iran does not merely
supervise the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, but is the dominant
power in the area, according to IRNA.
Reuters contributed to this report