Tehran:Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.
In a statement issued early Thursday, the IRGC said the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region — which sits in the central district of Jask County — after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.
The statement added that further details will be released about the operation later.
Reacting to the news, the US military claimed it did not fly over Iranian airspace on Wednesday.
“No US aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace today,” said Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the American military’s Central Command.
However, a US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to the Associated Press, confirmed on Thursday that an American military drone had been shot down in “international airspace” over the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
He identified the drone as a US Navy MQ-4C Triton, which builds on elements of the RQ-4 Global Hawk with minor changes.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather, maker Northrop Grumman says on its website.
The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is a maritime derivative of the RQ-4B Global Hawk and the airborne element of the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS).