Iran claims to be building US drone copy

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Iran claims to be building US drone copy

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Iranian media says the country’s military has started to build a copy of a US surveillance drone.

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, was quoted as saying data was being decoded from the unmanned Sentinel craft which came down in December near the Afghan border.

“The Americans should be aware to what extent we have infiltrated the plane,” Fars news agency quoted Hajizadeh as saying. “Our experts have full understanding of its components and programmes.”

Washington disputes Iran’s claims saying security systems will protect the craft from any tampering and Tehran is unlikely to get much valuable data from the Lockheed Martin built drone.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said: “It’s obviously a classified programme and I don’t want to get into the particulars of that programme, but I think I can tell you based on my experience that I would seriously question their ability to do what they say they’ve done.”