“At dawn, the IRGC Air Force bravely downed an enemy spy drone which had crossed our borders and was violating our national security,” General Salami said, addressing a congress in the Western province of Kurdistan on Thursday.
He added that the incident sent “a clear message” to the US and other enemies that Iran will show a firm and crushing response to any aggression.
“Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran’s territorial integrity and national interests,” General Salami said.
“We declare that we do not want war with any country but we are fully ready for war and the today incident was a clear instance of this precise message,” he underscored.
A US-made Global Hawk spy drone was shot down by the IRGC on the Southern coasts of Iran in Hormozgan province today.
The IRGC announced in a statement early Thursday that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the Central district of Jask after the aircraft violated Iran’s airspace.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather.
Meantime, a US official said a US Navy MQ-4C Triton high-altitude drone was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missile.
Iran has downed many other US drones as well, and they have always started reproducing them after conducting reverse engineering on them.
Iran announced on December 4, 2011 that its defense forces had downed a US RQ-170 aircraft through a sophisticated cyber attack. The drone was the first such loss by the US. US officials have described the loss of the aircraft in Iran as a setback and a fatal blow to the stealth drone program.
The aircraft is among the highly sensitive surveillance platform in the CIA’s fleet that was shaped and designed to evade enemy defenses.
Since December, 2011, Iran has hunted down several more US drones of various types.
In January 2013, a deputy commander of the Iranian Navy announced that the country’s Army had hunted two more advanced RQ type 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.
“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.
“Much of the data of these drones has been decoded by the Army’s Jihad and Research Center,” he said, but did not provide any further detail.
The remarks by the Iranian commander came after Iran announced on December 4, 2012, that the IRGC Navy had 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.
Iran later reproduced its own model of ScanEagle through reverse engineering techniques.