Iran Claims Shooting Down Two Additional US Drones

Iran Claims Shooting Down Two Additional US Drones

Iran on Wednesday said it had shot down two US-made RQ-11 reconnaissance drones in the past 15 months, adding to a ScanEagle drone and RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft it already claims to have captured.

He said the first had been brought down in Shahrivar 1390 (August-September 2011) and the second in Aban 1391 (October-November 2012), but gave no details of their location.

He did not offer proof for the claim.

Iran has in the past claimed to have hunted down a number of US drones, showing detailed images of the alleged spoils.

In December it said it had captured a small US ScanEagle drone in its airspace above the Gulf, which the US navy denied.

A year before that, it claimed to have captured a much bigger and more sophisticated CIA stealth drone, an RQ-170 Sentinel.

The AeroVironment RQ-11 type aircraft that Rastegari said had been shot down is a small, hand-launched and remote-controlled drone used by US military intelligence, and has also been adopted by some US allies.

It has a range of over six miles (10 kilometres) and can fly at up to 60 miles (95 kilometres) per hour for 80 minutes.

Rastegari made the announcement after a six-day Iranian naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of the world’s marketed oil passes.

Several surface-to-air missiles were fired as part of the manoeuvres, according to Iranian media.

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