An Iranian copy of a U.S. drone that was deemed lost in 2011 has taken its first flight, its state news agency reported Monday.
Iran reported in December 2011 that it had captured a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance drone, a military stealth vehicle reportedly equipped with communication and nuclear surveillance technology. After news of the drone’s flight was reported by IRNA, Iranian commanders reaffirmed that valuable technology had been extracted from the American drone, according to Reuters.
“We promised that a model of RQ-170 would fly in the second half of the year, and this has happened,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told IRNA. “A film of the flight will be released soon.”
Hajizadeh suggested in early 2012 that Iran had plans to reverse-engineer the drone using the vehicle’s extracted data, the New York Times reported. U.S. officials had said in response to Hajizadeh’s claims that the drone’s security system would make extracting valuable information unlikely, though they said such systems do not always function properly.
- Volodymyr Zelensky and the Spirit of Ukraine: TIME's 2022 Person of the Year
- Mickey Guyton Is TIME's 2022 Breakthrough Artist of the Year
- The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2022
- Column: What Elon Musk Gets Wrong About Free Speech
- The Forgotten Story of One of the First U.S. Soldiers Killed Overseas After Pearl Harbor
- Why You're More Likely to Get Sick in the Winter, According to New Research
- Column: What the Protests Tell Us About China's Future
- 18 Last-Minute Gifts for Everyone on Your List