Iran announced Monday that it has successfully flight-tested a copy of a US reconnaissance drone captured in 2011.
The RQ-170 Sentinel was downed by Iranian electronic warfare systems, which convinced the aircraft to land in Iran instead of its designated home military base after it entered the country’s airspace from neighboring Afghanistan.
Over the past few years, Iran has developed its EW capabilities to include systems that can even disrupt enemy communication systems, and indigenously-developed radars among others.
According to local media reports, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has “managed to reverse-engineer the drone and now can launch its own UAV production.”
“All the memories and computer systems of this plane have been decoded and some good news will be announced in the near future not just about the RQ-170 and the optimizations that our forces have done on the reversed engineered model of this drone, but also in area of other important defense achievements,” IRGC Lieutenant Commander General Hossein Salami said to the Fars News Agency last year.
"We have been equipped with electronic warfare systems in order not to remain just a defending force, and rather become able to jam the enemy's communication systems," Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, Iran's ground forces commander told Fars news agency last year.
"Communications are highly valuable in future and current wars and our armed forces have realised this completely and have prepared themselves proportionate to today's needs."