April 22 - An Iranian military commander says Tehran has decoded the U.S. drone captured last year and are working on copying it. Deborah Gembara reports.
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This is the U.S. Surveillance drone that was captured by Iran last December. Tehran says they've started building a copy of the RQ-170 Sentinel, Iranian media reported on Sunday.
The General in charge of the military's aerospace division says they're in the final stages of decoding some of the aircraft's data.
SOUNDBITE: Head Of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Division, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh saying (Farsi):
"There are almost no components left for us to unravel. With the information that we have obtained from the drone... We even recovered a section of it -- something that had been erased and contained even more information. However, there were many codes, mysteries and obstacles."
Some U.S. military experts are skeptical about the claim, saying Iran has a history of bluster particularly when it concerns security.
This particular model drone has been used widely in Afghanistan and Pakistan and played a role in the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. Perhaps most worrying to the U.S. is that other states might be able to replicate the technology used in the stealth aircraft's special coating.
Deborah Gembara, Reuters.
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