Iran Says It Captured Two U.S. Drones In The Past

Category: World / Jan 02, 2013 4:51PM EDT
Iran captured two miniature U.S.-made surveillance drones over the past 17 months, Iranian media reported on Wednesday (January 2). Several drone incidents over the past year have highlighted tension in the Gulf as Iran and the United States flex their military capabilities over Iran's disputed nuclear programme. The lightweight RQ11 Raven drones were brought down by Iranian air defence units in separate incidents in August 2011 and November 2012, Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari was quoted by Press TV as saying. Rastegari said much of the data of the drones had been decoded. Manufactured by AeroVironment, the RQ11 Raven has a wingspan of 1.36 metres (4.5 feet) and a range of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) and is used by the U.S. military for low-altitude surveillance. Iran said on December 4 that it had captured a U.S. intelligence ScanEagle drone in its air space over the Gulf in the previous few days, but the US said there was no evidence to support the assertion. The U.S. Navy said it had not lost any unmanned aircraft in the area. The four-foot (1.25 metre) ScanEagle surveillance drones built by Boeing are deployed in the region by the US military and also by other countries. In November, the United States said Iranian warplanes shot at a U.S drone flying in international air space. Iran said the aircraft had entered its air space to spy on Iranian oil platforms.