Iran's state TV said Tuesday that the country's Revolutionary Guard has captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf. The report quoted the Guard's navy chief, Gen. Ali Fadavi, as saying that the Iranian forces caught the "intruding" drone, which had apparently taken off from a U.S. aircraft carrier. Fadavi said the unmanned Scan Eagle aircraft was now in Iran's possession.
"The U.S. drone, which was conducting a reconnaissance flight and gathering data over the Persian Gulf in the past few days, was captured by the Guard's navy air defense unit as soon as it entered Iranian airspace," Fadavi said. "Such drones usually take off from large warships."
Al-Alam, the state TV's Arabic-language channel, showed two Guard commanders examining what appeared to be an intact Scan Eagle drone.Iran's military has been active of late in defending its airspace from American launched surveillance drones. Last year an RQ-170 Sentinel drone was successfully brought down, and more recently the IRGC-AF has offered hot pursuit and fire against intrusion by a USAF Predator drone. Highlighting this more vigilant posture, last month's Defenders of Velayat Skies IV exercise publicized an IRIADF practice shootdown of an Iranian launched target drone.
File Photo: Seaborne launched Boeing ScanEagle UAV