TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli said enemies of Iran are flying fewer drones along the country’s borders due to the Iranian border guards’ preparedness.
“Perhaps some time ago there were some drones which sought to enter the country and they were hunted down or a number of drones came close to the country’s borders and then receded, but at present they are not seen and the enemy is afraid of sending drones to Iran,” Esmayeeli said in the Northeastern city of Mashhad on Saturday.
“This shows that the country’s Eastern and Northeastern borders have been reinvigorated so well that such flights have severely decreased, but we are still vigilant,” he added.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced in May that it has hunted an alien UAV after the drone neared the IRGC’s current wargames zone in Southern Iran.
“On the first day of Payambar-e Azam 8 (The Great Prophet 8) wargames, the IRGC’s electronic warfare systems detected signals showing that alien drones were trying to enter the country (airspace),” Spokesman of the Wargames General Hamid Sarkheili told reporters at the time.
“Then our experts could bring down an alien drone over the wargames zone,” he added.
Sarkheili said the IRGC is now in possession of the pictures taken by the drone and will release them if Okayed by the country’s senior commanders.
It was not the first time that Iran hunted alien drones over the country’s airspace. Iran announced on December 4, 2012 that the IRGC Navy had hunted an American UAV over the Persian Gulf after the drone violated the country’s airspace.
The IRGC navy commander announced at the time that the hunted UAV was a ScanEagle drone, adding that “such drones are usually launched from large warships”.
ScanEagle is a small, low-cost, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.
Capable of flying above 16,000 feet, the UAV has also demonstrated the ability to provide persistent low-altitude reconnaissance.
Iran first announced in December, 2011 that its defense forces had downed a US RQ-170 drone through a sophisticated cyber attack.
The drone was the first such loss by the US. American officials have described the loss of the aircraft in Iran as a setback and a fatal blow to their stealth drone program.
The RQ-170 has special coatings and a batwing shape designed to help it penetrate other nations’ air defenses undetected. The existence of the aircraft, which is made by Lockheed Martin, has been known since 2009, when a model was photographed at the main US airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
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