Home » Aviation » Iranian Copy of U.S. Unmanned Stealth Aircraft is a Fake

Iranian Copy of U.S. Unmanned Stealth Aircraft is a Fake

So-called Iranian version of the RQ-170. Iran claims it was able to reverse engineer the stealthy unmanned aerial vehicle. FARS News Service Photo

So-called Iranian version of the RQ-170. Iran claims it was able to reverse engineer the stealthy unmanned aerial vehicle. FARS News Service Photo

Iran’s purported reverse-engineered copies of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel unmanned aircraft are nothing but cheap mockups, industry sources told USNI News.

The Iranian state-owned Fars News Agency reported that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) showed off a modified version of the stealthy RQ-170 at an aerospace exhibition in Tehran on Sunday.

However, unlike the original U.S. version of the aircraft, the Iranians claim their version of the Sentinel is armed—and designed to engage U.S. Navy warships at sea. Sources with knowledge of the RQ-170 design dismissed the Iranian copy as a crude mockup.

“It seems their fiberglass work has improved a lot. It also seems that if it were a functional copy, versus a detailed replica, it wouldn’t necessarily have the exact same landing gear, tires, etc,” said one source with familiar with the RQ-170.
“They would probably just use whatever extra F-5 parts or general aviation parts they had lying around.”

The Iranians based their mockup on an RQ-170 that had crashed inside that country on Dec. 4, 2011, during a Central Intelligence Agency intelligence-gathering mission. Shortly after the crash, U.S. President Barack Obama asked the Iranians to return the stricken aircraft. “We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said at the time.

An artist's concept


Iran had claimed that their military forces had brought the RQ-170 down via a cyber attack, however U.S. officials said at the time that they lost communications with the aircraft causing it to crash.

Later, at least one U.S. source suggested that the Iranian version of events might not be entirely inaccurate. The source said that there were indications that the Iranian may have been able to interrupt the RQ-170’s data-link and bring it to a soft landing.

  • facebookprogrammer

    Great article! Dave, please cover the illegal detainment of former nuclear military intelligence officer, Dimitri Khalezov, who is currently being illegally detained in Thailand.

  • David

    Obama takes it in the pooper from Reggie Love.

  • Mohammad Kermani

    Iranian engineering produces the Paykan. There is nothing to fear.

    • irani

      khak too saret

      • Mohammad Kermani

        Use English my friend; there is no shame.

        • Mahmood

          We are not friend to a patricide…

  • Secundius

    Hell it looks like a FAKE!

    What happened, did someone in the Iranian government watch a episode of TOP GEAR – UK. And watching James May, make a replica SPITEFIRE out of plastic as being billed as the world’s largest plastic model airplane. Then go too an Iranian Model Maker and ask them to make “the world’s largest fake looking American Spy Drone.” This must be the same Iranian Model Maker who made the Real Fake Looking Ballistic Missiles, that they claimed they had and produced. What will they think of next, hummm. How bout the world largest plastic Super Aircraft Carrier and/or Super Battleship. Maybe an Imperial Star Destroyer claiming that an advanced intelligent exo-alien race came too Earth, and said that they, the Iranian Religious Government were the chosen ones of all Gods Creations!!! Hell maybe even a DEATH STAR so they can threaten all the Gulf of Arabia regional governments.

    • RedBaron9495

      Ignorance is bliss!
      it’s called Persian Gulf….no such thing as “Gulf of Arabia”

  • Hussam Imtiaz

    National Council of Resistance of Iran, a broad coalition of democratic Iranian organizations, groups, and personalities, was founded in 1981 in Tehran, Iran on the initiative of Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance. For more information visit http://www.ncr-iran.org/

  • RedBaron9495

    Lol, US pride forces it tell a pack of lies and phoney assessments. Could we expect anything less?

  • mohammad

    what kind of crashing is it this drone done that its steel 100% safe and intact?! stop lying and accept that iran is more powerfull than you think

  • Just_a_man

    Problem with Iranians is that they lie with both corners of their mouth. Hard to believe anything they say.

  • hass

    Soo,,,it must be a fake because it is too accurate a copy down to the landing gear? That’s the argument? Because after having first denied losing a drone, and then denying it had been captured not crashed, to going to admitting that they did take control of it and asking for it back … it seems the Iranians have been the honest ones all along rather than the US side.