Iran is claiming to have successfully "hunted" an American drone, according to a piece in the regime organ Fars News Agency. The propaganda outlet claims that this is the first time Iran has shot down an American drone.
"The unmanned surveillance plane lost by the United States in Iran was a stealth aircraft being used for secret missions by the CIA, US officials admitted in December," writes Fars. "The aircraft is among the highly sensitive surveillance platform in the CIA's fleet that was shaped and designed to evade enemy defenses."
Yet there is no indication the Defense Department or CIA have publicly acknowledged losing a drone in Iran.
"Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi announced that his forces hunted a US Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) over the Persian Gulf after the drone violated the country's airspace," the piece reads.
The UAV which had conducted several reconnaissance flights over the Persian Gulf general zone in the past few days was caught and brought under control by air defense units and control systems of the IRGC Navy.
The IRGC navy commander announced that the haunted UAV was a ScanEagle drone, adding that "such drones are usually launched from large warships."
Fadavi further noted that the IRGC has full intelligence supremacy over foreign forces' moves in the Persian Gulf.
ScanEagle is a small, low-cost, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.
ScanEagle is based on Insitu's Seascan miniature robotic aircraft and draws on Boeing's systems integration, communications and payload technologies.
As standard payload ScanEagle carries either an inertially stabilized electro-optical or an infrared camera. The gimbaled camera allows the operator to easily track both stationary and moving targets, providing real-time intelligence.
Capable of flying above 16,000 feet, the UAV has also demonstrated the ability to provide persistent low-altitude reconnaissance.
The development came exactly a year after Iran announced on December 4, 2011 that its defense forces had downed a US RQ-170 drone through a sophisticated cyber attack.