on June 21, 2019, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shoots down a U.S. Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk ‘spy’ drone in Hormozgan Province. US Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS-D) aircraft, specifically a RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drone that costs $220 million and was designed to be largely invulnerable to attack.
Iran claimed the drone entered its airspace, but the Trump administration maintains the unmanned aircraft was operating in international airspace and characterized the incident as an “unprovoked attack.” The incident marked the first direct Iranian-claimed attack on US assets and came amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi has claimed that the U.S. drone downed by the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps was carrying out active surveillance and in ‘full stealth mode’ when it allegedly entered Iranian airspace and was neutralized.
The ambassador stated:
“A U.S. unmanned aircraft system, taken off from one of the bases of the U.S. military forces in the South of the Persian Gulf, conducted an overflight through the Strait of Hormuz to Chabahar port in a full stealth mode as it had turned off its identification equipment and engaged in a clear spying operation.
When the [U.S.] aircraft was returning towards the western parts of the region near the Strait of Hormuz, despite repeated radio warnings, it entered into the Iranian airspace where the air defence system of the Islamic Republic of Iran, acting under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, targeted the intruding aircraft at 04:05 hours local time on the same date at the coordinates N255943 and E570225 near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the central district of Jask in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Ambassador Ravenchi further stated regarding the downing of the drone:
“The international community is called upon to demand the United States to put an end to its continued unlawful and destabilising measures in the already volatile region of the Persian Gulf…
This is not the first provocative act by the United States against Iran’s territorial integrity. It is reminded that in all such cases, the Islamic Republic of Iran has officially protested to the U.S. through its interests section in the Embassy of Switzerland in Tehran.”
The incident represents one of the only times Iran has been able to test its indigenous air defence platforms in combat, with the new Khordad 15 air defence system credited with the kill by Iranian sources. How the United States will respond to the incident remains to be seen.
The Incident raised Serious question on Stealth technology. In past Russian and China have claimed that they have Developed anti-stealth radar that can Track U.S. Stealth fighter jets
China has also claimed to develop a new Divine Eagle Drone Designed to Seek and Destroy U.S. Stealth Fighter and bombers Aircraft
Stealth aircraft are designed to avoid detection using a variety of technologies that reduce reflection/emission of radar, infrared, visible light, radio frequency (RF) spectrum, and audio, collectively known as stealth technology.
While no aircraft is totally invisible to radar, stealth aircraft make it more difficult for conventional radar to detect or track the aircraft effectively, increasing the odds of an aircraft successfully avoiding detection by enemy radar and/or avoiding being successfully targeted by radar guided weapons.