In December 2011, the Iranian military grounded a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft while it was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the Afghan border.A senior Iranian commander says the country identified and repelled an American U2 reconnaissance plane that was trying to intrude into Iranian airspace above the Sea of Oman. Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said on Tuesday that the country’s air defense systems identified the radar-evading plane on February 10 but it left the area after receiving a warning from Iran’s air-defense units.
“The US U2 plane was flying from Pakistan’s southwest to the east of the Sea of Oman and was being monitored by our radar and electronic surveillance systems every moment,” the Iranian commander said, adding that Iran’s Persian Gulf radar gave it a warning when it was trying to enter Iran’s airspace above the Sea of Oman and southeast of the Strait of Hormuz.The plane, which is one of the world’s most technologically-advanced reconnaissance aircraft, probably intended to take images of and gather information about Iran’s southern region, he added. Earlier in November, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said the Iranian military had driven away an unidentified aircraft violating the country’s airspace above Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. The Islamic Republic of Iran vigilantly and precisely monitors all the movements [of its enemies] and takes decisive, necessary and timely actions, Vahidi said. On December 4, 2012, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy commander, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, said his forces had captured a US ScanEagle drone over the waters of the Persian Gulf after it violated Iranian airspace. In December 2011, the Iranian military grounded a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft while it was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the Afghan border. The US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was brought down with minimal damage by the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit. The aircraft is one of the United States' most advanced spy drones. YH/MA/HJL