On June 20, 2019, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s (IRGC) shot down a United States RQ-4A Global Hawk BAMS-D surveillance drone with a surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian officials said that the drone violated their airspace, while U.S. officials responded that the drone was in international airspace. Both Iran and the U.S. differ on where the incident actually occurred.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, for the first time, put on display the full wreckage of a modern American spy drone which was shot down by the forces in southern Iran in June.
Iranian state media have released footage shows debris of U.S. remotely piloted reconnaissance aircraft which was downed by Iran in June 2019.
The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force also said that his country enjoys the technology to turn the U.S. modern large-size U.S. RQ-4 drone inefficient even while the aircraft is flying thousands of kilometers away from Iran’s borders.
In his Thursday remarks, Hajizadeh added that new parts of the downed U.S. drone have been recently discovered in depth of Iran’s southern waters.
“We have access to the RQ-4 drone’s secret codes… We can make the drone inefficient from several thousands of kilometers distance,” the commander explained.
The U.S. Navy RQ-4N high-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted and unarmed, aerial reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by an Iranian Khordad-3 surface to air missile while the drone was flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
The aircraft is designed to provide persistent, day and night, high-resolution, all-weather imagery of large geographic areas with an array of integrated sensors and cameras.
In a last year statement issued to the press, U.S. Central Command “U.S. Central Command can confirm that a U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (or BAMS-D) ISR aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz at approximately 11:35 p.m. GMT on June 19, 2019.”
According to The National Interest, this RQ-4N, part of the Navy’s VX-20 Test and Evaluation squadron, reportedly took off from Al Dhafra Airbase in the United Arab Emirates at a quarter past midnight, initially remotely piloted by a specialist launch and recovery pilot. It then cruised to its station over the Persian Gulf at roughly 350 miles per hour—two-thirds the speed of a typical airliner—ascending as high as 100,000 feet high into the stratosphere.
Iran claims that the drone was over Iranian airspace when the shootdown took place. While not completely implausible, that claim is unlikely because aircraft’s long-range sensors mean it could loiter in international airspace and easily use its sensors to peer into Iran.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said it had shot down a U.S. drone over Iranian airspace, near Kuhmobarak in the southern province of Hormozgan.