Iran says it's producing ScanEagle drone

Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM
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TEHRAN, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- An Iranian commander announced Monday that the military is producing the same model of drone allegedly captured from the U.S. military.

Iranian navy Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi said Iran was able to capture three ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles recently and was producing their own version in Iran.

"The production line of ScanEagle drones has been launched in Iran and it has already been employed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Navy and Aerospace Division," Fadavi was quoted by Iran's Press TV as saying Monday.

The U.S. military had said it was able to account for all drones operating in the region after Iranian forces claimed to have seized a ScanEagle, a relatively low-cost Boeing aircraft.

Fadavi said the Iranian military hadn't commented publicly on the capture of the first two drones.

Iran said recently it extracted data from the drone to ascertain what information the aircraft's operators were able to secure from suspected Iranian spy missions.

Hezbollah in October said it flew a UAV over nuclear facilities inside Israeli territory. The Iranian-designed drone, which Hezbollah said had stealth capabilities, had a range of around 600 miles and could be equipped with weapons.

A UAV allegedly operated by the CIA was captured by Iranian forces last year after it strayed over the border from Afghanistan.

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