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US drone data decryption

A senior Iranian lawmaker says decoding the data on the downed US Sentinel reconnaissance drone marks a turning point in the Islamic Republic’s technological breakthrough.

“The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in a major and successful move has decoded the records on the downed US RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance drone. It is a turning point in Iran’s capabilities and technological progress,” the Chairman of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Tuesday.

Boroujerdi went on say that the move shows the capabilities of the skillful Iranian scientists in making an Iranian reconnaissance drone, more advanced than the American one.

On December 4, the Iranian military's electronic warfare unit announced that the country has successfully downed the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth reconnaissance aircraft inside Iran with minimal damage.

The aircraft, designed and developed by the American company Lockheed Martin, had crossed into Iran's airspace over the border with neighboring Afghanistan.

Navy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi announced on April 22, 2012, that Iran has successfully decoded all the records on the downed US Sentinel reconnaissance drone.

There were “numerous codes, but we obtained all the information on its memory, including the protocols, repairs and flight sorties; for instance, the data of a flight after repairs in 2010 or the [drone’s] deployment in the operation against [slain al-Qaeda leader Osama] bin Laden in Pakistan,” said Rear Admiral Fadavi.