Claims To Have Captured The RQ-170 In December, 2011
Iranian television has aired footage it says was taken from equipment aboard an RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Iran claims to have captured in December, 2011. The Tehran government claims that the images on the video are of a U.S. UAS base in Kandahar, as well as a landing in eastern Iran.
The U.S. government eventually confirmed that the drone had been assigned to monitor military and nuclear facilities in Iran, according to a report from the Associated Press. They had initially said it had been lost near Iran's border with Afghanistan.
Earlier photos released by Tehran claimed to show Iranian scientists disassembling the aircraft for study. The government there says it has been able to reverse-engineer the UAV, and has the capability to manufacture its own UAVs based on the design. The chief of the Revolutionary Guard's airspace division, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said the Iranian military was able to access the data contained in the aircraft after its capture.
In December of 2012, Iran claimed to have captured a ScanEagle UAV that violated its airspace, entering from the Persian Gulf. U.S. officials say there is no evidence to back up that claim.