Adam Kredo | The Washington Free Beacon
The Iranian military has given the Russian army a copy of a downed U.S. drone that was captured and disassembled by Iranian authorities in 2012, Iran’s state-run media reported on Monday.
Iran is believed to have knocked down and captured a sophisticated U.S.-built ScanEagle drone in 2012. Tehran claims to have reverse-engineered the drone and has now reportedly provided one of them to the Russian military as a “gift,” according to the state-run Fars News Agency.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) also provided the Russian army with a “video showing how Iran monitors the trans-regional countries’ vessels and equipment in the Persian Gulf,” according to the report.
Iran claims to have captured several U.S. drones patrolling the region and vowed last year to build a domestic reproduction.
Ali Akbar Dareini and Brian Murphy | Associated Press
Iranian TV showed images of what was said to be a ScanEagle. The American Navy said none of its drones were missing.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran claimed Tuesday it had taken another prize in a growing showdown with Washington over drone surveillance, displaying a purported U.S. unmanned aircraft it said was captured intact. The U.S. Navy, however, said none of its drones in the region was missing.
The conflicting accounts could put pressure on both sides for more details on U.S. reconnaissance and Iranian counter-measures.
They also point to other questions, including how Iran could manage to snatch the Boeing-designed ScanEagle drone without noticeable damage to its light-weight, carbon-fiber body or whether the aircraft could be from another Gulf country that deploys it.
There is even the possibility the drone is authentic but was plucked from the sea after a past crash and unveiled for maximum effect amid escalating tensions over U.S. reconnaissance missions — including a Predator drone coming under fire from Iranian warplanes last month. Read More
Zahra Hosseinian | The Huffington Post
DUBAI, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Iran believes a U.S. drone targeted by its forces this month was gathering intelligence on oil tankers off its shores, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander told the semi-official Mehr news agency on Sunday.
Washington said Iranian warplanes opened fire on an unarmed U.S. drone over international waters on Nov. 1. Iran said it had repelled an aircraft violating its airspace.
The incident underlined the risk of escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran in an ongoing dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Read More
David Axe | Wired
Since at least February, the Syrian government has been using Iranian-built drones to track and target Free Syrian Army rebels in their strongholds, including Homs and Hamah. Now some fresh commercial satellite imagery provides new details about the unmanned aerial vehicles’ possible tactics and capabilities.
Based on the imagery, acquired by George Kaplan for his blog Open-Source Geo-Intelligence, the small unarmed, propeller-driven Mohajer 4 drone is apparently limited in range. The Mohajer 4 most likely relies on control signals radioed from its launch base, unlike some Western ‘bots which can be controlled via satellite from facilities pretty much anywhere in the world. The Syrian UAV’s ability to transmit video is probably equally constrained. Read More
Brian Ellsworth | Reuters
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez smiles during a meeting with military members in Caracas.
Venezuela is building unmanned drone aircraft as part of military cooperation with Iranand other allies, President Hugo Chavez said, in a move likely to heighten U.S. anxiety over his socialist government’s role in the region.
Referring to a Spanish media report that U.S. prosecutors are investigating drone production in Venezuela, Chavez said late on Wednesday: “Of course we’re doing it, and we have the right to. We are a free and independent country.”
In a televised speech to military officers at Venezuela’s Defense Ministry, Chavez said the aircraft only has a camera and was exclusively for defensive purposes. “We don’t have any plans to harm anyone,” he said.
“We are doing this with the help of different countries including China, Russia, Iran, and other allied countries,” he added, apparently referring both to drone construction and to other projects including a munitions and weapons factory.