On November 12, Iranian TV aired footage of an Iranian replica of the American RQ-170 stealth drone, captured three years ago by Iranian forces. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Commander of the IRGC Airforce, who described the Iranian model's capabilities, said: "I think that the partial heart-attack [the Americans] had three years ago will now be a full one."
Following are excerpts from an interview with IRGC Airforce Commander-General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, which aired on Channel 1, Iranian TV on November 12, 2014:
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: As we promised in the past, today we are presenting a film of the flight of the Iranian RQ-170. I hope that our honorable nation will be pleased to see it.
Footage of Iranian RQ-170 drone
Interviewer: Did you believe that the Iranian model would fly? Did you have any doubt about it?
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: Of course we believed in it. We have complete faith in our Iranian experts.
Interviewer: You changed its color, General…
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: Yes, we made it black just for the video.
Interviewer: What do you think will happen to the Americans when they see this video?
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: I think that the partial heart-attack they had three years ago will now be a full one.
Interviewer: Obama said: "Give us back this airplane." Will you give back the Iranian model of the American one?
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: The American RQ-170 is booty, which we will not give back. If they lift the sanctions we will give them the Iranian one.
Interviewer: Is the technology of the Iranian RQ-170 identical to that of the American RQ-170?
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: At first, the Americans said that the Iranians were incapable of reverse-engineering the [drone], incapable of extracting information from it, and incapable of accessing the data stored within the spy drone. Allah be praised, the Iranian engineers and experts have managed to do all this.
Interviewer: What a great maneuver, Allah be praised.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: We have had many successful flights. Some were unsuccessful, but eventually, we managed to control the flight of this drone. This plane consists of a body and a wing. Its vertical and horizontal steering have been integrated into a single wing. That led to some changes. It became much lighter, its fuel consumption improved, it became much faster, and its flight stability improved. The body is better. The Americans used metal, but we did not. This improves the drone's ability to evade radar detection.
Interviewer: What about the engine?
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: Since the drone comes in various sizes, its engines vary in size as well. In addition to jet engines, our people are working on piston engines, and God willing, they will be operational soon.
Interviewer: These drones are being used as bombers…
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: Yes, but we also plan to use them for surveillance and identification purposes, because they have extremely high flight stability. We believe that by the end of the year, we will have at least two or three operational drones. But mass production will begin in 2015, God willing.
In many cases, we tried to implement Iranian ideas, but naturally, we drew some ideas from the [American] RQ-170. [This drone] is very cheap. It is locally produced and cheap, while the work of the Americans is very expensive.
Interviewer: If you place these models side by side – do you prefer the Iranian one or the American one?
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: The Iranian one, of course. We have our own methods, and naturally, we will add things of our own.
Interviewer: Our radars detected a stealth drone like the American RQ-170. Do you think that they can also detect an F-35 aircraft?
Amir Ali Hajizadeh: Of course. The Hermes drone of the Zionist regime is a similar model. It has a very limited range, and although it is top secret, we have detected and destroyed it.