Iran’s Fars News Agency claims that engineers with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have duplicated a U.S. surveillance drone captured in 2011 and added additional bombing capabilities, The Christian Science Monitor reported Monday.
Scott Peterson writes that IRGC claims to have replicated the RQ-170 Sentinel‘s systems and structure through reverse engineering.
U.S. officials have said the replication could be possible with help from Russia or China, Peterson reports.
According to the report, the captured drone was performing a CIA mission to spy on Iran’s nuclear and military sites before it was intercepted and redirected to land in Iran through an “electronic ambush” of its GPS system.
The IRGC says it has also decoded the previous missions of the drone and recovered other data such as video and advanced imaging, the CS Monitor reports.
Iran Aerospace Chief Amir Ali Hajizadeh said two more replicas are under development, according to the CS Monitor.