Top Iran official says Tehran to fit self-made long-range drone with missiles
Deputy Iranian Defense Minister tells Press TV the Islamic Republic has garnered technical information from the U.S. stealth drone it captured in 2011.
Iran's security forces are mounting missiles on its independently produced long-range drones, a top Iranian official said on Sunday, adding that Iran managed to obtain technical information from the U.S. stealth drone that was captured by the Islamic Republic late last year.
In 2010, Iran unveiled a prototype long-range unmanned bomber, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying at the time that Iran should seek the ability to make preemptive strikes against a perceived threat, although he said it would never strike first.
According to a report in Iran's state-run television network Press TV on Sunday, Iranian forces have already included the Karrar in the recent Prophet 7 military drill that took place in July.
Speaking to Press TV, Iran's deputy defense minister Mohammad Eslami indicated that the now active craft was also being fitted with weapons, saying that according to the Defense Ministry’s "plans, we are currently mounting missiles on these drones."
In addition, the report also cited Eslami as claiming Iran was able to obtain what the report said "valuable technical information" from U.S. RQ-170 stealth drone.
In April, a senior Iranian commander said the country has reverse-engineered the American spy drone captured by Tehran’s armed forces and has begun building a copy.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, is chief of the aerospace division of the powerful Revolutionary Guards, was quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency as saying that experts are also recovering data from the U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel captured in December in eastern Iran.
U.S. officials have acknowledged losing the drone. They have said Iran will find it hard to exploit any data and technology aboard it because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.