Iran has presented Russia with a copy of a U.S. spy drone, proving it has reproduced the unmanned ScanEagle aircraft that its forces claim to have captured last year, Iranian media reported.
An Iranian Revolutionary Guards air defense commander, Farzad Esmayeeli, said he presented a copy of the drone during a Monday meeting with Russian Air Force chief Viktor Bondarev in Tehran, Fars reported.
"The drone built by the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps] is a symbol of the technical capabilities of the Islamic Iran and today we presented a real model of it as a gift to Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev and the Russian people," said Esmayeeli, who is in charge of air defense at the Khatam al-Anbia base.
Last month, Iran's army unveiled a highly mobile drone, called Yasseer, which media reports described as resembling the U.S. ScanEagle.
Iran has claimed advances in drone technology ever since its forces appeared to have captured a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel two years ago. Iran claims to have brought down the drone, but U.S. officials said the aircraft had malfunctioned.
In December, 2012, Iran said its forces also captured a ScanEagle and vowed to reverse-engineer and reproduce the craft.