Iranian TV Shows Captured RQ-170

Iran’s Press TV news channel is showing images of what is allegedly the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone that Iranian electronic warfare troops brought down intact. American defense officials have acknowledged that a Sentinel — apparently operating out of Shindand in Eastern Afghanistan (notice that satellite pics of the base haven’t been updated in years, they still show the remains of the Soviet air base there) — did go down inside of Iran recently.

In some ways, the TV images look almost like they show a mock up. The drone appears to be a different color than it does in previous images. Still, with the Pentagon acknowledging the crash, I’m inclined to believe the images are true. Furthermore, the video shows details of the jet that look right like seams where access ports could be and an engine intake grill that could be designed to make it stealthier.

Most impressive is the fact that Iran got the drone intact — the wings appear to be slightly damaged and there may be more damage to the jet’s underbelly and sensor apertures that isn’t shown in the video. Tehran claims to have hacked the Sentinel’s control feeds and forced it to land while the U.S. claims it simply lost control of the UAV. If Iran did bring the plane down via EW, it shows that the Middle Eastern country has a significant cyber warfare capability.

Here’s what Press TV has to say about the drone:

On Sunday December 4, the Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit downed with minimum damage the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 140 miles (225km) from the Afghan border.

The aircraft had crossed into Iran’s airspace over the border with neighboring Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Iran has announced that it intends to carry out reverse engineering on the captured RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft, which is also known as the Beast of Kandahar, and is similar in design to a US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber.

On Tuesday, two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the drone has been part of a CIA reconnaissance mission, involving the United State’s intelligence community stationed in Afghanistan.

They claimed the reconnaissance capability of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone enabled it to gather information from inside Iran by flying along Afghanistan’s border with the Islamic Republic.

The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company.

To be continued

Enjoy the footage after the jump and sound off as to whether you think the Iranians are showing off a real RQ-170.

  • Guest A

    Maybe it’s just me, but that thing looks way too small and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have an inlet screen like that on it. That just screems FOD hazard…

  • Cwf

    Bomb them back to the stone age.

  • Josh

    Something doesn’t look right about that image. I can’t point it out but it just looks…”off”

    • founder

      It’s OK Josh, the whole country is that way.

    • RCDC

      It looks like a paper mache put together.

    • Rabbit

      I won’t lie, the cognitive distress is getting to me too.

  • Josh

    And yeah,it definately isn’t our most advanced or stealthiest aircraft by a long shot but it’s lightyears ahead of anything Iranians have.

  • Ron

    It does look off, but if it was taken out using electronic means you think it was acomplished solely by the Iranians

  • DAdvocate

    The panelling covering the entire bottom half of the drone seems to be out of place which implies that there is considerable damage on the underside.

    Assuming the drone did have a hard landing in dusty/rocky terrain you might expect a fair few marks on the upper side too which had to be painted over and thus explaining why the colour seems off, and why it took the Iranians this long to show their trophy.

  • ghostwhowalks

    Even now some cant accept the Iranians have one of the ‘crown jewels’. To say its not the most secret is absurd

  • Anthony

    Will someone comment who has a strong background in this stuff?

  • Andrew

    That doesn’t imply stealth coating, that implies paint. While it might’ve had stealth coating, considering the maintenance required on the 22s and 35s the thing might have just been painted like every other AF craft.

  • dddd

    I don’t think any of us have enough information to determine the relative sophistication of this aircraft. I would venture that the most impressive aspects it are underneath the skin. However, I believe that this entire incident is a net positive. Better to have this happen during peace time than in war time. The CIA/Air Force is now moving to plug what vulnerabilities it can and augment the security of our data links. You only learn by making mistakes.

    • IKnowIT

      Net positive? That’s pretty stupid.

    • Rabbit

      Arguably the most rational thing anyone has said about this incident.

  • Sgt JFK

    It belongs to the Chinese now. What would the Iranians do with it?! They’re still producing F-5 remakes and think the F-14A is an advanced aircraft. Why didn’t we do what the Israelis do and plant an explosive in the plane that can be detonated by a signal if it ever ends up in the wrong hands?

    • Maxtrue

      The story we’re giving doesn’t make sense. That’s more “off” than these pictures. If the Iranian story is correct the Chinese and Russians are knee deep in Iran.

      As far as the most advanced, this drone obviously has some tech that will now be gifted to the Chinese and Russians at taxpayers expense. As for this not being new or advanced:

      So read back in DT and see what accolades this drone was given. Why should China steal tech from us when we can manage to land it either on Chinese air fields or Iranian territory. The question is to what degree northrop knows all the counters to this technology. I wonder what their stock is doing about right now considering they obviously missed a big counter that grabbed their 6 million drone relatively intact.

      And we don’t know what payload was compromised.

      So what will this cost? What damage done to our covert activities in Iran and what will the costs be to regain the distance from our rivals as Congress steers towards 1 trillion in defense cuts?

    • Bendejo

      [quote]dddd December 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      I don’t think any of us have enough information to determine the relative sophistication of this aircraft. I would venture that the most impressive aspects it are underneath the skin. However, I believe that this entire incident is a net positive. Better to have this happen during peace time than in war time. The CIA/Air Force is now moving to plug what vulnerabilities it can and augment the security of our data links. You only learn by making mistakes.[/quote]
      WHAT!!!!! Encrypting the data links should have been job number 2 (right after getting the wing to fly off the ground consistently), this should be at least a “career ending” failure for some one ( I am looking at you Major General Bradley A. Heithold). The lack of basic security on these platforms is appalling and so grossly negligent as to approach dereliction. But as is the want of the “winning” side in “war”, nothing will happen to anyone of any importance over this failure. This is a tragedy that could have been so easily avoided, it is too bad that accountability is out of fashion.

    • tiger

      Your thinking outside the box. A skill sadly lacking in this case.

  • Don

    Many apologists here for the grand failure of the MIC to deliver it’s promised wonder weapons. Apparently the trillions invested in all of this stuff means nothing in the real world. It’s only real purpose is to prop up a failed domestic economy. At the very least it signals that real pilots in planes still means something. No way to jam the connection between the brain and the stick that I am aware of.

  • WJS

    And missiles aren’t flying at this moment because why? Destroy this thing now. I fail to understand why this device wasn’t destroyed the minute they lost flight control.

    • MCQkngiht

      Because loosing an advanced drone to the Iranians isn’t worth starting WWIII.

      • JEFF

        They’ve been sending weapons and advisors to Iraq for years. We could always deny we sent a bomb their way.

    • IronV

      The chain of command decided, rightly, the drone wasn’t worth an act of war. I’d love to vaporize it, but in the grand scheme that makes no sense.

    • tiger

      President made the call………

    • Mike

      Because if they landed it intact, the minute it landed (which will have been shortly after loss of control) it would be whisked away, so where exactly do you propose sending the missiles? Everywhere?

  • Its real. Tuff luck. Let the radar cross section testing begin….this sucks. Not the most advanced we have though, that is a lie..

  • gunslinger6

    Any one know what the banners have written on them?

  • tiger

    Well $6 million in tax dollars no longer in our hands. Gary Powers and the U-2 :circa 2011.
    COLOR? Sand Camo for the region? Definitely no self destruct, FUCK. Worse than the tech is the Intel on board. Can they download it? Is it encrypted?

    Russia & China will pay top dollar for this thing intact. This is a major intel loss & loss of stealth tech. I would have boys from Sukuoi & mig on the next plane to Iran………

    Somebody’s head need to roll for this??

  • J House

    It is a phoney and it is a mock-up. The intake and grill are missing key design elements and the radar absorbent material the the wrong color. Note how they do not show the underside of the aircraft nor do they produce any part or conponent that indicates US manufacture. They merely have the planform model, which can be made out of a fiberglass mold and pieced together. Besides, the real aircraft weighs thousands of pounds…they are going to set it on a table? Please….

    • MCQkngiht
      • guest

        no its not. its missing the spike on the nose that is seen in pictures of the real drone, and theres no evidence it was ever there on this thing their touting as real. fail

    • aeronaut

      You are spot on….

    • Guest

      You got it, the underside of the A/C would be painted blue/gray
      like the sky and the top of the A/C would be sand/tan in color like the ground. Iran played into our hands. Now we go to war
      with Iran….remember Gen. Clark..7 in 5 years.

  • Bob

    I can not imagine that the U.S. flying such “black” planes, would take such a risk by flying this thing in Iranian airspace and not have a sophisticated self destruction ways and means as soon as we “lost” communications with it. Something just seems off! I had to erase my camera for just taking a pic of the back end (at a distance) of a B2 at Offutt and got chewed out!

  • Jeremy

    The DoD knew where the drone was and had the opportunity to destroy it. They decided not to. I highly doubt if this is our “crown jewel” they wouldn’t have gone ahead and destroyed it. It’s and advanced IRS drone, and yes it’s bad it’s now in the hands of the Iranians, but this isn’t catastrophic. I’d bet the tech on this is ten years old.

  • J House

    One must also understand the Iranians have been producing fake videos for years for Western consumption. In the recent past, they have released doctored video and photos showing simultaneous multiple launches of ballistic missiles, which were proven to be faked.
    They may have recovered the wreckage of the downed UAV, but this definitely isn’t it.
    A pile of silicon, carbon fiber and aluminum won’t reveal much, but they will be able to determine some key physical properties of the radar absorbent material skin.

    • Rabbit

      An interesting take – as they say, attitude is everything. If we believe America has been humiliated in a grand fashion, then that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and I think the State Department understands this.

  • شعیب ابن صالح

    خدا می خواهد آمریکا بدست ایران تحقیر شود و این سنت الهی است

  • pandaa

    Xerxes is back ^

  • Larry

    the text says “God wants America to be humiliated the Iranian tradition is a divine”

    • IronV

      Oh wow. Is that the same God that wants Tim Tebow to win on Sunday?

      • crackedlenses

        If God were that easy to manipulate the Iranians would have called fire down from somewhere by now……

      • now now…dont bring tebow into this….

    • Skyepapa


    • No it doesnt…. It says wash at 30 degrees, Do not Tumble Dry…..

  • Bob

    How does that guy know what “God” wants?

    • Prodozul

      He’s a UAV being piloted by Jesus

      • SjöRobban


    • bahman

      we , iranian people trample americans.

  • bobby

    id say that it looks in really good shape for an aircraft that was downed.. like they could even land the thing even if they had the proper equipment.. id say through some means they got the remains of a drone but what they are showing of aint it..

  • halcyon_

    It does look fake. How did they shoot it down and not even scratch it?

    • Jushoa

      they claim they hacked in to its system and land it

  • Musson1

    The good news is Francis Gary Powers was not onboard.

  • C-Low

    Looks to small to me. The wing on the side opposite they did the inspection is either rippled from an impact or is not the same as the other side.

    Also may have been image distortion but it sure seemed when he was at the nose section and pushed the skin with his pointer finger it seemed to bubble in.

  • J House

    Perhaps the mission was designed for the Iranians to recover the wreckage (but not this phoney in the video). The UAV served as a ‘trojan horse’, and once opened up, hundreds of thousands of nanobots spewed out, sent on their missions tasked to seek out and destroy key parts of Iranian ballistic missile and nuclear/chemical/biological programs, as well as assassinate key technical personnel involved in these programs.
    We are likely to witness more acts of sabotage and targeted killings in the coming months….stay tuned.

  • Nathan

    We do not paint our drones sand color to blend in with the desert…they are painted grey to blend in with the sky at high altitude, just look at our PREDATOR drones if you need an example. The Iranians are always producing fake propoganda to keep their people fooled into believing we are going to attack them any day now. The drone they have displayed looks like a mockup made of fiberglass. As stated they show no markings, no internals, nothing other than a model sitting on a platform. The sensitive nature of the composite materials used in construction do not survive impact without significant damage and we see none in their video. Our equipment is designed to not reveal sensitive capabilities if recovered by the enemy and our RAM (Radar Absorbant Material) has been in Chinese/Russian hands for a very long time since the F-117 crashed in Kosovo. Obviously we lost a drone and after we assessed the loss, it was probably determined to be a complete loss which is why we didnt need to bomb it….now Iran is taking advantage of the situation to inflate their standing in the region. Business as usual in Iran, no loss to us other than one less drone and no “intelligence goldmine” for the Iranians.

  • Lance

    This will be a technological heyday and break threw for the Russians now. I know for trading for some MiG-29s and SA-20s will be for the drone’s remains.

  • Pay close attention to video, there is a some dents on the leading edge of the wing structure…Not all stealth are grey. The first F117 was blue! You can see landing gear down through the camo garb that is hanging off of it. Everyone knows what RAM is at this point, hell, it was pioneered by the Natzis back in WW2.

    I’m glad it was a drone and not a piloted plane. We can replace drones, but not our wonderful pilots…

  • PolicyWonk

    The beast of Kandahar doesn’t have two big honkin’ humps on either side of the engine intake, form the photos I’ve seen.

  • John

    Now this is an act of war. Invading airspace is an act of war and the drone was 120 miles inside iran airspace. If Iran ask Security Council to act on this, US will have to face some consequences, thats why US doesnt want to show its satellite images of how this was shoot down, because that could further prove the iran’s airspace invasion

    • hahahaha…iran has declared war on US how many times? this one incident isn’t going to make them try to be real men by doing something.

  • Greg

    I hope somebody’s junk is in a sling for this. Spending huge amounts of my money for new toys and then just losing them like that. Where is the self destruct or the return home system?


  • Matt

    Perhaps this wasn’t an accident after all. If it’s a drone that has been out for several years, stealth techonology isn’t exactly a secrete anymore, and our airforce is moving more toward drone fleets. What better way to test enemy capability than to fly one over their country and see how they deal with it. I wouldn’t be suprised if the whole “hacking” of the drone wasn’t monitored and observed for us to understand their capability and use that knowledge to help safeguard our growning drone fleet. One possability anyhow.

  • Mad Max2

    Iran might have the real one, but I think this one on TV is a mockup. The profile of the satcom humps is too small. The leading edges doesn’t match other photos, excepting for damage.

    Fake or not, thankfully, there is no bloody abused pilot on propaganda TV. The incident validates the concept, in that context.

  • Stratege

    Bomb Iran. What are you waiting for. They are paper tigers.

  • Maybe the Iranians have just taken delivery of a shit load of viruses.

  • Stan

    If this is true then this lesson has come at too high a price and heads do need to roll for not anticipating this eventuality and planning accordingly.

  • Cthel

    With regards to the malfunction vs hijacking stories, I wonder how well the Sentinel’s autopilot can glide. Is it a remotely piloted vehicle, or more like the global hawk’s “set waypoints” hands-off mode?

    If it’s the latter, perhaps all the Iranian’s managed to do was jam the satellite link, stopping any new orders from being received, until the drone ran out of fuel and glided to a landing.

    I realise that this is entirely hypothetical, but I’d expect something that expensive to have an autopilot, if only to stop it dropping out of the sky if it lost sat-link for a minute.

    Alternatively, this could all be a massive disinformation campaign, kind of like when the British let slip to the Germans that the reason they were loosing so many U-boats was an infrared sensor picking up the periscopes, rather than surface-scanning radar. If memory serves, the Germans spent a lot of time and effort developing an infrared stealth coating for their periscopes…

    • gonoles74

      Most RPA aircraft have a “return home to Momma function.” If the control link is lost, the RPA will fly on for a short period but after a set time, it should return to the facility it launched from.

      Not saying the Sentinel has this, but Preds/Reapers/Global Hawks do. Would imagine there would be something similar in Sentinel.

  • founder

    This would be great if we’re trying to feed Iran & anyone else misinformation about our tech.

    Or if we just had some explosives on it that blew up once they try to reverse-engineer it. After all, it would be a ‘delicate procedure.’

  • Petar Petrovic

    Hey you americans also considered serbs as living in stone age,but we did down an F-117a in 1999.remember?Consider that iran is MUCH more rich then Serbia,much bigger,and for sure Iranians/Persians are much more responsible people then southern slavs (we just like basketball and pretty women)-I think it is entirely possible that they have found a way to down rq 170 and,my God,then it means they possibly already do have a n.bomb!

  • Klem

    I bet 74 million Iranian heads on a malfunction.

  • matt

    Any chance we are just using a trojan horse to see where they take it? who touches it? how the examine it? I hope our governement is smarter than to leave one of our most sophisticated assets intact on foriegn soil. Although they do surprise us time and time again by their stupidity. Hopefully, this thing, if real, is relaying tons of information about its location in preperation for a serious ass kicking by the new Massive Ordanance Penetrator

  • Mike

    The Iranians have years and years and years used video to make wild arms tech claims of every nature, so whatever the Iranians say or show is highly suspect. That the USA also alleges this loss is more meaningful.

    With China looming would it NOT serve US interests to:

    1. Slap together something impressive
    2. Fill it with computer chips with viruses
    3. Make sure it contains multiple backdoors for some future conflict with the USA
    4. Fly it over a sensitive part of Iran where some troops don’t totally hate their commanders
    5. Crash it reeeeeallllly gently with boxes of Mu Shu Pork take-out, Shanghai travel brochures and, “We hate God, love the Devil & our Jewish overlords”-


    I’d run this scam so often they’d have airfields jam-packed with my steady techo-lie lies –when I finally lost something REAL they’d throw it in the garbage.

  • DickGear

    First things first. US officials have told the media they are almost certain the drone on TV is authentic. Ok so these drones are controlled by a satellite link. That link has a few milliseconds of a lag from the person controlling the drone the signal goes to a satellite then to the drone so it has a latency of a few milliseconds. When they need to take off or land they can’t have even those milliseconds of latency so it uses line of sight infrared to take off and land. If the satellite link was disrupted it should have a predetermined flight path back to wherever it took of. The Iranians disrupted that satellite connection then used infrared to land it safely in Iran. This is my theory.

    • Klem

      So, in a matter of ours, (assuming the plane loitered in safe mode) after they jammed the signal from the satellites, they fire up their infrared devices to land the plane in a controlled mode, and these infrared communications we assume have some protocols, send/receive….a signal the plane understands, and they just learned the know-how in a very short time, or just in time to hijack the plane intact.

      Maybe the latency is resolved by autonomous take off and landing.

      But why should the plane land autonomously on enemy territory?

      If not a malfunction, then maybe the jamming alone, messed up it’s silicon brain and crash landed.

      That’s what some analysts say anyway, more likely a malfunction.

    • Zap


      Russia has transferred a number of Kvant 1L222 Avtobaza Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) systems to Iran in October, RIA Novosti news agency announced. Each 1L222 system includes an passive ELINT signals interception system and a jamming module capable of disrupting airborne radars including fire control radars, terrain following radars and ground mapping radars as well as weapon (missile) data links.

      1L222 Avtobaza ELINT system was transferred by Russia to Iran in late 2011.

      1L222 operates over the Ku and X bands (8-18 GHz frequency range)and its effective range is 150 km. It covers 360 degrees hemisphere, monitoring up to 60 targets simultaneously.

  • jamesb

    I still don’t know why there was no self destruct built into the thing….
    No Matter how much BS we get told….
    Stuff happens with UNMMANED drones….
    And they should NOT be flown in the same airspace as manned a/c…

  • jamesb

    The Iranians and Chinese just won the bonus round….
    And for all the people here who wish the Irainians harm….
    Shame on you…
    The US used the RQ-170 to look down on them…
    The thing quit on us….
    That ain’t Iran’s fault….
    But I hope that the problems with the a/c are fixed….

  • MP_Sez_So

    Welcome to the land of software. Anyone really think the magic is in the hardware any more? I’d bet the memories were dumped automatically. Sure, they’ve got some electronics. Can get the bits and bobs anywhere, I doubt there is anything really exotic in it’s construction. I doubt the optics are that special (they’re on a disposable aircraft, after all….for use from a few thousand feet, not hundreds of miles). A loss? Sure. Catastrophic? I think not.

  • RCDC

    Now send em drones with 100000 lbs on it.

  • Oil

    I can’t believe we would be so stupid not to have put a self destruct mechanism on something that we deemed valuable especially when we knew the possibility existed that we could lose communication with something sensitive close to a hostile country. How stupid are we this is only going to help other countries like China, Russia and potential adversaries catch up. This tech could be applied to what they already have. I would hope this is a Trojan horse and I hope the tech is not as sensitive as they say it is. From now on any sensitive drone should have a self destruct mechanism.

  • RCDC

    Next time we need to coordinate the design with NASA.

  • Tim

    This looks like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Those two lumps are just way too high… :) Nice try though!

  • Kevin

    That is NOT an RQ-170. Take a long, hard look at that inlet and the grate across it. Then go look at the photos of the real thing as well as the B2 and F35 upon whose stealth technology it is based. You will find soft, round edges on all openings, not the distinct, hard edges on this fake. And, you will find no grates over ANY of the openings on any of these aircraft. This thing is also WAY too small. Look at the stills compared to the men. There is no way that has a wingspan of over 80ft.

  • someone else

    It looks off because it is off… the grill is too far forward and it is the wrong colour, also it is missing panels at the front… although these could be field mods. The wings appear to have been reattached though and the absence of a landing gear does suggest a crash landing.


  • Josh

    Yeah, and your country threatens israel and denies the holocaust.

  • Iranian/American

    If True, That is a very stupid move by Islamic Republic to keep such an advance unit close by!!! You know you can’t hide it from the most sophisticated satellite radar surveillance!!! You will get your ass blown up before counting to ten and from thousands of miles away!!! PS. I hope this is a trap to identify IRGC’s important bases!

    • Mike

      What are you taking about? It’s inside! there isn’t a satellite/radar in existance that can detect something through a solid wall, certainly not at a useful distance.

      • Cthel

        The US developed ground-penetrating radar satellites during the cold war specifically for identifying underground soviet missile installations. A wall is nothing

        • blight

          FWIW, NASA also uses/used GPR satellites to study Mars. My research continues…

        • Riceball

          A missile installation is one thing, a relatively small aircraft (and a stealthy one at that) is another thing entirely. Looking for the remains of a drone inside a building is a lot like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

        • digimatrix

          And the Soviets countered by masking its underground installations with materials designed to defeat U.S. spy satellites.

  • Guest

    Well done Iran. If the USA learnt to respect sovreign borders the way it expects other countries to respect their’s then maybe they wouldn’t have lost their latest tax payer funded war toy.

  • J Hughes

    John Pike over at GlobalSecurity says that it looks more like a parade float.

  • JonhB

    Drone is real. Claim of EW is false. If Iran can make a mock up that looks so real that fast, they should work for the big-3 automakers.

    • guest

      its fake. okay?. missing certain elements of the real drone. and its too small and its on a table which is impossible and the color is off and the grill is candy a** and not what is seen on the pictures of the real thing.

  • obama fault……………………………

  • ozzy

    Me thinks this may be an electronic trojan horse, think about it folks who is going to see this?? china? russia?? i would not be plugging this into a laptop of mine if i was in iranian public service. After all its not a predator or other simple drone this is the “latest and greatest” of the big bad west every iranian techie is going to be gettting into this and you will have every computer spreading a variant of stuxnet all over the iranian system. Bombing them would cause all sorts of problems this is a win win for western intelligence

  • Rob

    Skulls on american flags, enough said. They want us dead for just wanting them to get along with global society. No government is perfect. We never post hate against a country when we capture a spy vehicle.

    Iran wants to be the hate of the world and play rightous.

  • правдоруб

    так янкам из пиндостана(америка) и надо, сербию православную разбомбили, сейчас европу разрушают, америке лучше если всем другим хуже

  • Guest

    A couple of things don’t seem right about the story. First the color. If Iran were building a fake, I would bet big money they would paint it some shade of gray. Just about every other plane is gray. But by being tan, it looks like a fake. So Iran must know something we don’t. They would put something this important that looks fake on tv. So I think that is one check in favor of Iran telling the truth.

    The second thing is why isn’t everybody screaming about the late virus that was found in the UAV control center? We were told it was no big deal. Yeah right. So Iran has to capitalize on it as soon as possible since it was discovered. Looks like Iran hacked out systems and figured out how to get control. They then just told the UAV to fly to Iran and land. Payback for the Stuxnet virus we hit them with.

    It sure looks like we are at war with Iran. So far it is just a virtual war. We strike, they strike. I’m sure there is a lot more going on then we know of. The question is how long until a physical shooting war starts?

  • Roland

    Iran may have used its electronic jammers to bring down the (RQ-170) drone.

  • zvika

    well, that’s the crux of the prob, isn’t it.

    These blockheads believe that they have an inside track to god via the the
    psychopaths who invented their koran. Christianity outgrew – for the most part – this infantile absurdity. Islam didn’t and their adherants are paying for this ignorance.
    and this UAV looks like a mockup that the Iranians show to coincide with a real UAV crash

  • Mitch S

    I still have a Testors model of the “F19 Stealth Fighter”.
    When that came out it was a huge scandal that a toy company knew how the plane (what we later found out was the F117) looked because it’s appearance was an essential secret of it’s stealth. The Pentagon mumbled and grumbled and left everyone with the impression this was the real thing. Congressmen were outraged at the security breach.
    Google “Testor F 19”. It looks nothing like a F117. The DOD cleverly let everyone think that was the real thing and helped hide the real secret of the 117’s faceted shape.

    I only wonder if the DOD requested DefenseTech pretend it’s real or is the editor so easily taken in (article says “I’m inclined to believe the images are true”. Of course they’re true images – of the Iranian fake!). How many of the posters claiming it’s real are plants?

    C’mon, “They don’t have it on it’s landing gear cause the gear was damaged” (then plane would be severely damaged), “They jammed the Sat link and landed it with IR” (ya mean the AF controls the plane with an oversized Sony TV remote control?)
    I think I’ll save this page with the comments so I can share a good laugh in the future.

  • ac86th

    I think it is helpful to take a look at the shape of the air intake. Compare the images released by Iran State TV and those images taken at Kandahar Airfield. The cowl above the intake isn’t straight across, it is tapered, trailing aft with the sweep of the airframe. Also, the base of the intake (the forward most section) comes to a more aggressively angled point than what the Iranians are displaying. Also, note the “humps” (if you will) alongside the intake path, in the Kandahar photos they rise at a sharper angle before they taper down to the trailing edge of the fuselage/wing. It isn’t possible to get a good look at the intake grille in any of the Kandahar photos, but in response to the RAM being removed from the airframe prior to the display by Iran, they certainly wouldn’t have removed it so cleanly from every facet of the grille leaving a perfect match with the coloring on the rest of the aircraft. Whatever they have remains to be seen.. That which is displayed seems to indicate a mock up.

    • ac86th

      Wow… sorry, disregard all of that…

  • Michael Gorbachev

    I thought there might be another scenario behind what was announced in the media.
    Probably the truth is; the stealth has crashed in Afghanistan and then some rebels like Mujahedin sold it to Iran!
    As you may noticed there are two white bands on both wings, it is resembling wings were cut to make it easy for transportation as well as keep it hide of satellite spy cameras.

  • DefenseIndustryObserver

    It definitely feels like a fake to me. Where are the air data ports, or at least a small pitot system. Also it looks like there is masking tape at the wing seams. It also looks smaller than it should, after seeing pictures of it taxiing on the runway in Afghanistan. Also you are more likely to win the lottery and get struck by lightning at the same time than the Iranians hacking a complicated system like the sentinal. If it is real it had some kind of failure and it wound up in their back yard. Obviously they would say they brought it down, otherwise they look like helpless chumps with no control of their own airspace.

  • Chris

    Personally I hope they have Spies in the Revolutionary Guard that could at least destroy or best yet put a explosive on the RQ 170 and destroy it. Then we dont have to worry about it. But aren’t we already at WAR with Iran? Saudi Arabia hates Iran and there in a cold war. We also have been killing Numerous Scientist related to there nuclear program. So i’m hoping they could at least destroy this drone the same way.

  • Chris

    It also looks like there keeping it in a Freezer like area. If you notice the guys breath during the video you can see some condensation coming from his mouth. We need to get some spies in there and set some explosives up! I say send in JAMES BOND! lol

    • tiger

      No, this job needs more mojo. Call Austin Powers!!!

  • john burns

    so far not a single history major has posted a comment….you poor, prideful Trojans….tsk, tsk… :)

  • Bomb scenario:

    Lets do this! US or Israel bomb Iran. Iran sends missiles to Bahrain, Qatar; Saudi, UAE, Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey and a bunch to Israel as well. Then Syria and Hamas and Hezbollah attacks Israel as well. Brothers of Islam in Egypt might join as well. Iran also closes the strait of Hormuz oil prices go towards $200.

    I guess after a week or so China gets involved. As they have already expressed that they will get involved if Iran gets attacked.

    So lets do this and see who wins…

    • Andrew

      Why would you want this? What is the matter with you? No one wants to be involved in WWIII. Keep your fake toy. If it’s real, then fine. I hardly doubt it will pave they way to Iran’s divinity and military super prowess. You know why we are so far ahead of you? Because for years when you shunned technology, we accepted it and engrossed ourselves in it. And for years when most of the world took nationalism to mean racism, we accepted bright minds from around the world. No, Iranians are not stupid. Very intelligent, we know that. But we have very intelligent Iranian Americans working in our departments as well, and Chinese Americans, and Japanese Americans, and Indian Americans, and Jewish Americans. Why don’t we we threaten countries like Brazil? Because they aren’t threatening to wipe entire religions off the grid, and then following disgusting threats with attempts to build nukes.

  • moike

    my question is, even if it is real, could the iranians track down the materials to build more and even if they could do that could they afford to procure them? based on the “navy” they recently deployed, i’m inclined to think no.

  • traindodger

    What are they going to do? Build their own? Good luck! Investing in stealth aircraft technology has nearly bankrupted us. The sooner we can get them draining their coffers on something they’ll never have a use for, the better!

  • cat3land

    Well, it really looks like a real RQ 170…. But is it ????? Or isn’t it ???? Or is this part of a very cunning and astute psychological war between Iranian and American secret services ???? I’d really like to see what Aviation Week has to print next week… Absolutely fascinating ! Jerome, France.

  • markd

    Wasn’t there a story a couple of months back that the AF had a virus in their drone controller systems? That might be how this was pulled off.

  • iranian


    what was happened was one of the kindnesses of Allah.

    no one can’t understand except those believe in god.

    as Quran says :

    و مکروا و مکرالله والله خیرالماکرین .

  • Tim

    My guess is that Iran might have managed to build a test model of the stealth UAV for a while before the news of a crashed RQ-170. A few good craftsmen can easily build something out of fiberglass to “almost” the right shape and form with images collected from the Internet. Note the RQ-170 doesn’t look that far off from the X-47B (which images are all over the web) so one can only imagine how quickly a few details can be changed to match the story.

    A fake model, yes. Iran might have gotten pieces of the real thing, yes. But did they shot down the RQ-170 or even jammed it? Unlikely. The Russians are desperately trying to drum loudly for their military equipment and the Iranians need to tell their people how strong they are, so put two and two together… and add the misfortune of a lost-of-control UAV wandering into Iranian airspace… Voilà!

  • jamesb

    I think the thing shown IS a model….

    The Air Force and CIA know this…
    The question is where’s the REAL one????

    • chaos0xomega

      My guess is its in a couple dozen pieces…

  • fatemeh

    آمریکا هیچ غلطی نمی تواند بکند (امام خمینی)1

  • charlie

    This is incredible/unbelievable., No one foresaw the possibility of this? We know the feeds have been hacked a long time ago. No self destruct, no attempt to retrieve no nothing. I am amazed this is the best we can do.

  • Morty


  • hadi

    its not lie its real im live in iran i see very video and pic about rq 170

  • RCDC

    Could be the new version of Irani Apad.

  • digimatrix

    Sorry, but I’m not convinced it is fake. It doesn’t make much sense to think the Iranians would be able to come up with a fake drone on such short notice. Or do they build mock-ups of all the possible planes they might shoot down, and then announce this and hope it coincides with the loss of such a platform by the US? I highly doubt that.

  • ampillion

    If any of you think Iran could successfully fake such a close and faithful model of a relatively unknown aircraft in the span of one week (after the UAV fell and Iran located it), you are highly likely to be mistaken unless Iran actually had a really developed aerospace R&D institutes and industry.

    I wonder what between those two theories is going to be more believable; Iran got the real thing or it was a close model by an unusually advanced aerospace industry.

  • Spoilers just don’t popup by just pulling on them, they are attached to actuators!


  • Gus314

    For some odd reason, I always thought these birds had a failsafe system where we could remotely detonate it or at least fry the sensitive bits. Or maybe even a beacon that pings every few days to give its exact location. Maybe those should be options on the next generation birds.

  • شمه

    آمریکا هیچ غلطی نمی تواند بکند