Iran military landed US spy drone
An undated picture received Dec 8, 2011 shows a US RQ-170 unmanned spy plane displayed in front of a flag with Persian script that reads "Down with the US (top), down with Israel and down with Britain (bottom)" at an unknown location in Iran. The unmanned US drone Iran said on Sunday it had captured was programmed to automatically return to base even if its data link was lost, one key reason that US officials say the drone likely malfunctioned and was not downed by Iranian electronic warfare
U.S. officials have acknowledged the loss of the unmanned plane, saying it had malfunctioned. However, Iran said its forces electronically hijacked the drone and steered it to the ground, according to the report. "Recently, with the help of collected intelligence and with the accurate electronic monitoring, it was learned that the drone was to enter Iran's air space for spying," said the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, Xinhua reported.
Images showed that Iranian military officials were inspecting the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which appeared to be undamaged, BBC reported.He said Thursday that the military experts were well aware that the drone has very invaluable technological data."After the drone infiltrated Iran's eastern space, it was trapped by the electronic systems of Iran's armed forces and was downed with the least damage possible," Hajizadeh said.
The drone, the technology of which has been used in B2 and F35 planes too, was equipped with highly advanced surveillance technology and electronic communication and radar systems, he added.The Iranian Foreign Ministry Thursday summoned Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Livia Leu Agosti to protest the violation of its airspace by a U.S. drone.The RQ-170 drone is an unmanned aircraft which has been used for reconnaissance and surveillance by the U.S. in Afghanistan.The Swiss embassy in Tehran represents the U.S. interests in Iran since Tehran and Washington severed diplomatic relations in 1980.