Our old friend the RQ-170 is back in the news again. Yup, Iran claims it has already reverse engineered parts of the jet and it’s encrypted software and it plans to make its own version of Lockheed Martin’s stealthy little drone.
To prove it, the Iranians have said that the data they hacked allowed them to verify that the drone that went down in Iran last December was the same aircraft that was used to spy on Osama bin Laden before the American special operations raid that killed him last year. Tehran also claims that the jet has had some maintenance issues in the year before it crashed. An Iranian Revolutionary Guards general even listed off dates that the jet was shipped to California to have repairs made.
He also listed tests and maintenance that the drone had undergone, all of which, he said, had been recorded in the aircraft’s memory. According to Hajizadeh, the drone was taken to California on Oct. 16, 2010, for “technical work” and then to Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Nov. 18, 2010.
He said it carried out flights from Afghanistan but ran into some problems that U.S. experts were unable to fix. Then the drone was taken in December 2010 to Los Angeles, where the aircraft’s sensors underwent testing, Hajizadeh said.
“If we had not achieved access to software and hardware of this aircraft, we would be unable to get these details. Our experts are fully dominant over sections and programs of this plane,” he said.