Iran: Built Replica of American Drone, Will Test Fly Soon

Iran has said it has successfully made a replica of an American drone that it captured back in 2011. The Islamic republic said it would take the copied drone on its first test flight soon.

Iran state television broadcasted on Sunday images of the apparent replica of the US RQ-170 drone next to the original one.

During the footage, an officer said the country’s engineers had successfully broken the secrets of the drone and copied them.

Ayatollah Ali Khomenei the Supreme Leader of Iran inspected the aircraft at an exhibition by the air wing of the Revolutionary Guard. He said the drone was an important device for unmanned reconnaissance missions.

Iran for a long time has claimed it was able to reverse engineer the drone it seized in December of 2011 after it had entered the airspace of the Islamic Republic at the eastern border it shares with Afghanistan.

Iran has said it is capable of launching a line of its own unmanned aircraft.

After first saying that the drone had only been lost close to the border of Afghanistan and Iran, officials in the U.S. eventually confirmed the drone was monitoring the nuclear and military facilities in Iran.

Washington requested that Iran return the drone, but Iranian officials refused, and subsequently released photos of officials from Iran studying the unmanned aircraft.

Officials from the U.S. have said that Iran would find it difficult to exploit technology and data on the drone, since there are measures taken that limit the value of intelligence on drones that operate in territories that are hostile.

State television in Iran on Sunday showed images that had been apparently recorded in a drone from Iran flying over an aircraft carrier from the U.S. in the Gulf.

At the same time, the president of Iran said on Sunday that his country was not going to surrender what it believes to be a right to develop nuclear technology in its upcoming talks with the world powers. However, he did say it would maintain transparency throughout the negotiations over its controversial program.

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