Iran unveils its drone after capturing a US one



London: Iran has unveiled a long-range drone capable of reaching Israel and most of the Middle East months after capturing a US one, News Agencies said.

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander, described the weapon as a key strategic addition to Iran's military capabilities.

The Shahed-129, or Witness-129, has a range of 2,000 km and can carry out reconnaissance missions or be armed with "bombs and missiles", the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

But it is unclear whether the new drone contains any elements of an unmanned CIA aircraft that went down in eastern Iran in December.

Iran said it has recovered data from the RQ-170 Sentinel and claimed it was building its own replica.

Iran frequently makes announcements about its strides in military technology, but it is virtually impossible to independently determine the actual capabilities or combat worthiness of the weapons Iran is producing, according to the Mail Wednesday.

Tehran also test-fired four anti-ship missiles Tuesday in a prelude to upcoming naval war games planned in an apparent response to US-led warship drills in the Persian Gulf.

The show of Iranian military readiness came as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepared to address the UN General Assembly amid a deepening impasse with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

IANS