RQ-170 Drone Shot Down Claims Iran
There are unconfirmed published reports that say Iran claims to have shot down a very advanced stealthy US drone called the RQ-170 Sentinel.
The incident allegedly took place along the eastern border of Iran. The claim was made by an unnamed military official quoted by the IRNA, the country's official news agency. The precise date of the incident is unclear from the statements and reporting so far.
"An advanced RQ-170 unmanned American spy plane was shot down by Iran's armed forces. It suffered minor damage and is now in possession of Iran's armed forces," is the quote attributed to the official in the published account.
AeroSpaceNews.com has been unable to confirm any aspect of these claims other than to verify that other legitimate news outlets have indeed published the claims appearing in IRNA.
If an RQ-170 drone has indeed been shot down by Iran, it will be a serious blow to the unmanned aircraft's perceived survivability and low observable technologies. If the system was lost in operations near Iran it is also possible that there were other operational problems encountered.
While UPI is also reporting the drone as the RQ-170, a BBC report says it was an RQ-10 UAV the Iranian Government claims was shot down.
A review of the official Islamic Republic News Agency website clearly shows the reference to an "RQ170" type aircraft and the photo of a flying wing UAV (below).
If the picture above is actually a RQ-170 Sentinel drone and if the claim of the shootdown are true remains to be proven to us.