Iran's captured UAV is confirmed as a US-built ScanEagle
The UAV captured by Iran has been confirmed as being an American Boeing Scan Eagle.
A Pentagon spokesman said today that Iran’s claims that it has extracted valuable data from the drone is unlikely. He said it was “highly improbable” that useful intelligence could be gained from the relatively unsophisticated drone. He also said it couldn’t be determined if it was being operated by the U.S. military or other services.
Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, head of the public relations department of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, was quoted in the Tehran-based Etemaad newspaper as saying The drone’s mission was to “gather military data and information pertaining to the energy sector and shipment of crude from Iran’s oil terminals,”
The three-metre wingspan Scan Eagle is used by a number of countries for surveillance.
Iran’s state-run TV news showed images of the ScanEagle which they said was seized after violating the Islamic Republic’s airspace.
News agency Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Navy “has fully accounted for all unmanned aerial vehicles operating in the Middle East region,” quoting Commander Jason Salata, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, but the agency also quoted a White House spokesman as saying: “I can’t rule out the possibility that at some point in the past a ScanEagle dropped into the Gulf and was picked up.”
Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said today the capture of the drone shows the Islamic Republic’s “defence capability reached a point where we can rely on the talent of the country’s youth to protect our airspace, sea and territory,” Bloomberg reported.