"Iran's military has downed an intruding RQ-170 American drone in eastern Iran," Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam state television network quoted an unnamed source as saying on Sunday
"The state news agency IRNA and the the semiofficial Fars news agency reported that the plane is now in the possession of Iran's armed forces. The Fars news agency is close to the powerful Revolutionary Guard.
The drone "was downed with slight damage. It is now under the control of our forces,"
Fars reported, quoting an unnamed military source.
The drone had been brought down through a combined effort by Iran's armed forces, air defence forces and its electronic warfare
After the plane briefly violated the country's airspace at its eastern border,Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam state television network reported the same news on Sunday."
"A U.S. official with knowledge of the incident said the crew operating the unmanned drone reported a loss of flight control just before the drone went down."
U.S. officials believe the drone Iran is referring to may be the same one, but the U.S. government has not confirmed that it was shot down, the source said.
The RQ-170 Sentinel is a stealth drone developed for the Air Force to help provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Although the Sentinel was developed for the Air Force, the U.S. official did not say whether it was the U.S. military or the U.S. intelligence community operating the drone at the time of the incident.
The unnamed Iranian military official called it a "clear example of aggression" and added that Iran is "fully ready to counter any aggression,"
The official said the drone's mission was to fly over Afghanistan. American officials over the years have been adamant that U.S. assets do not fly over Iranian air space."
"If it is a high-altitude aircraft it is painted an unusual color – medium grey overall, like Predator or Reaper, rather than the dark gray or overall black that provides the best concealment at very high altitudes"
Since RQ-170 is a product of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works and property of United States Air Force nothing much can be known of it. Experts’ claims it could be configured to carry “a high-powered microwave source” to fry computers and electronic equipment on the ground, or an electronic jamming platform to support other aircraft.
But at the official level, silence surrounds the Beast of Kandahar and its potential combat or non-combat functions."
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