RQ-170: A primer on the Beast of Kandahar
 Tbilisi 15:34 - 09.12.11 GHN
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The RQ-170 drone - the secret surveillance craft that Iran purports to have
displayed on Thursday - has been seen before, but just barely.
Even before the Iranians claimed to have taken possession of the drone, the
RQ-170 was the subject of fascination in military and intelligence circles.
Although it was believed to have been first spotted in 2007, flying out of
Afghanistan, it wasn't until December 2009 - after a model was photographed at
the main U.S. airfield in Kandahar province - that the military confirmed the
existence of the craft.

The Air Force now maintains a fact sheet on the drone, made by Lockheed Martin,
but little is known about its capabilities or specifications, other than that it
has special coatings and a batwing shape designed to evade enemy air radar.
The RQ-170 has always been seen at a distance, and images have always been of
poor quality.

 

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