A display (non-flying) version of an Iranian “Saegheh” drone based on the US RQ-170 Sentinel. [credit:
Iran TV ]
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Division staged what Iranian state media described as “massive drone drills” on March 14, including coordinated offensive operations with dozens of flying-wing drones based on the Lockheed RQ-170 Sentinel, captured by Iran in 2011, and Iranian copies of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator. During the exercise, called “Towards al-Quds” (al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem), a total of about 50 drones—including “Saegheh” unmanned combat aerial vehicles based on the RQ-170’s flying wing design—were used in a coordinated air strike on training targets 1,000 kilometers (about 600 miles) from their launch site.
The Saegheh is much smaller than the RQ-170, with a wingspan of about six meters (about 20 feet). It has been shown carrying Sadid-1 TV-guided antitank missiles on its belly in static displays, and it does not appear to have landing gear—unlike a fiberglass replica of the RQ-170 that was displayed five years ago