The apparent downing of an Iranian unmanned system is providing a good look at Tehran’s indigenous high-end drone.
On Aug. 13, social media began buzzing with pictures of what appears to be a crashed Shahed 129. Defense News cannot independently confirm whether these photos are legit, but it has not observed pushback from the knowledgeable aerospace communicate on Twitter that would indicate these are fakes.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which unveiled the system in 2012, has claimed the Shahed has a range of 1,700 kilometers and can stay aloft for 24 hours; it can also be armed with up to eight missiles. It is Iran’s first medium altitude-long endurance (MALE) system, roughly analogous to the US Air Force fleet of MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers.