A senior Iranian Army commander categorically denied some recent media reports about a nightly flight of a US Air Force F-22 squadron over Iran, describing the report as “psychological operations”.
“The report is not true,” army’s deputy top liaison General Mohammad Hossein Dadras told FNA on Tuesday.
“These are psychological operations, and they try to cover up their weaknesses in new arenas through such unconfirmed and unfounded reports,” Dadras underscored.
The Lebanese Diyar daily alleged in a recent report that 10 US F-22 aircraft had flights over regional countries, including, Iran without being detected by the regional air defense systems.
That is while Iran has hit several US sophisticated drones after they violated the country’s airspace.
In the latest case, a senior Iranian Navy commander announced just earlier this month that Iran has hunted two more advanced RQ type Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
“The air-defense units of the Army have hunted two enemy drones,” Deputy Commander of the Iranian Navy for Coordination Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari told FNA early in January.
“These drones were from 11th series of the RQ class, and one of them was hunted in Shahrivar 1390 (August 21-September 19, 2011) and the other one in Aban (October 22-November 20, 2012),” Rastegari said, adding that the Army research center is now studying the two UAVs.
The remarks by the Iranian commander came almost one month after Iran announced on December 4 that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has hunted a US UAV over the Persian Gulf after the drone violated the country’s airspace.
The IRGC navy commander announced at the time that the hunted UAV was a ScanEagle drone, adding that “such drones are usually launched from large warships”.
ScanEagle is a small, low-cost, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.
Capable of flying above 16,000 feet, the UAV has also demonstrated the ability to provide persistent low-altitude reconnaissance.
Iran first announced in December, 2011 that its defense forces had downed a US RQ-170 drone through a sophisticated cyber attack.
The drone was the first such loss by the US. American officials have described the loss of the aircraft in Iran as a setback and a fatal blow to their stealth drone program.
The RQ-170 has special coatings and a batwing shape designed to help it penetrate other nations’ air defenses undetected. The existence of the aircraft, which is made by Lockheed Martin, has been known since 2009, when a model was photographed at the main US airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan.