Iran captured a U.S Air Force UAV near the Afghanistan border in the year 2016.
The latest images made us recall the incident in 2016, as now Iran has unveiled its latest UAV-the Kaman-22, a newer version of its pre-existing Kaman-12 UAV.
As per the images revealed by Iranian authorities, it looks like the Kaman-22 is a close copy of the U.S Predator MQ-1 and Reaper MQ-9 UAVs. However, it is hard to state that it comes equipped with the same technology as not much about the latest Iranian UAV is known till now.
The news was shared by an Iranian local news agency, according to which the latest UAV is capable of covering a range of 3000 km and is in its final stages of production.
It could carry about 300 kilograms of explosives despite its incredible 3000 kilometers range, combined, which makes it one of the most capable UAVs to date. The news agency report states that professionals are already training how to operate and control drone operations.
Moreover, the Kaman-22 abilities include taking pictures and collecting information. It is best suitable for monitoring and surveillance of a territory giving a plus point in military operations.
Time will reveal its true capabilities, but it won’t be wrong to expect a pusher propeller powerplant for what is known.
The only thing that appears different from the MQ-1 and MQ-9 UAVs is the landing gear. As revealed from the pictures so far shows, the Kaman-22 has fixed landing gear, not a retractable one. The rest of the features resemble the U.S model UAVs, including straight wing features, weapon hardpoints, unturned tips, and mini winglets. Its upward V-shaped tail and central fin also match the ones in MQ model drones.
The Drive stated that the Iranian developed Kaman-22 is shaped to equip its flight with 4 Sadid guided bombs and two Balaban glide bombs. Not only this, the pictures give an idea that it is equipped with an electro-optical sensor turret alongside too.
The Kaman-22 is shown as the successor of Kaman-12. However, most of its features and technology match that of the U.S developed UAV. Although, once again, these statements are based on a single report, and Iranian authorities’ official statement hasn’t surfaced on the newly developed drone.
Moreover, in 2016, The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force released photos of an American MQ-1C Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) captured by the IRGC forces, according to reports. It would make us question if Iran followed the similar technology of the U.S. military to develop its latest unmanned UAV.