Home » Wars » Afghan Update » Drone Eye Candy: The RQ-170 at Kandahar

Drone Eye Candy: The RQ-170 at Kandahar

by John Reed on December 7, 2011

Given all the attention that the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone has been receiving lately, we thought it would be cool to published these rare-ish photos of the bird taxiing around Kandahar airport in Afghanistan. The pictures were published on the secret projects web forum a while ago but you could only view them if you were a member; they’ve since emerged on the open web at the militaryphotos​.net forum.

Notice how you can clearly make out the terminal buildings of Kandahar airport — built in the 1950s by USAID — along with a C-17 and what looks like a STOL turboprop airlifter in the background.


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

matt December 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

They stole a C-5 too????


Morty December 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Come on man read before you write


matt December 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

C-17 sorry. ahhhhhhh!


Morty December 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

No that's not it


DougieR December 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Ironic isn't it. We paid for the Kandahar airport infrastructure through USAID and now we're the principal user. I'm not sure how to regard that…a big failure…or a big success?


TMB December 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm

We've expanded the airfield several times its original size since we moved in. When we first took it in 2001 we housed a couple battalions there. Now we're up to something like 30,000 troops and civilians. The Afghans have a portion of the airfield sectioned off as the Kandahar International Airport and make regular flights to who knows where.


Guest Lurker February 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Big success. If you look at USAID funding carefully, it always goes back to State Department.


romney December 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm

the c17 is multinational , u can hav one for ~$200m. A qatari prince bought one for his horses…


Musson1 December 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm

So long to the Beast of Kandahar.


A. Nonymous December 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm

The STOL airliner looks like an Antonov An-32.


Anyone Noone December 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm

You’re correct that is a private airline that owns a AN-32. I run by it all the time.


BLACK BICYCLE December 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

The Beast Died as it lived. A "hero".


dddd December 8, 2011 at 2:50 am

I hereby declare this thread to be about one thing…somebody please tell me what is in this shoulder housings. Is it really just antennae (?)?


Patriot78 December 8, 2011 at 8:22 am

Nice little toy just should have never "loan" it to the Agency. They seem to always break DOD toys.


Brian December 8, 2011 at 8:52 am

Seen these lil babies take off a few times. Thought they were the Navy's new toys here for 'test runs'. Oh well, they still look awesome on takeoff.


tribulationtime December 8, 2011 at 10:01 am

Can be this drone "a enemy radar probe" to test as air defenses perform against B2 bomber?.


tiger December 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm



chad December 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Yep x2. In case you haven't noticed, we're gearing up for another shindig another god forsaken sh*thole.


jamesb December 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

I wonder when the Iraianian's are gonna have the fire sale between the Russians and Chinese for the RQ-170?


tiger December 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I would bet techs from Mig & Sukhoi are in country now………………………………………..


dan December 8, 2011 at 11:49 am

Well, there's currently a really neat video of what purports to be the RQ-170 on Fars News


unknown December 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm

i dunno, something looks fishy about the drone in the background of the articles image, looks like it was carved from foam using a reference image


Mastro December 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

It does look a bit plasticy- but maybe its carbon fibre?


afret91 December 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I really hoped that we had enough smart savvy computer geniuses in our nation that we could protect our vital resources from a freakin moslem puter hacker in Iran. WTF, over.


tiger December 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Dude, one pissed off Army private caused the whole Wikkileaks scandal.


Amicus Curiae December 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Am I mistaken or do I see A-10s behind the walls? The Warthogs of Kandahar are inhabited by pilots who need clear canopies to use their primary sensor, the Mk I Mod 0 eyball.


Mad Max2 December 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Fake or not, thankfully there is no bloody, abused pilot to display on propaganda TV. Thank-you and Merry Christmas to all those involved in producing and operating this system.


Chadness December 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm

This is a very clever play by the US. It's a trojan horse. Stupid fuckin iranians, hahaha. Wait til they plug in and get Stuxnet version 2.. =)


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