Shahed 129

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Shahed 129
Role Reconnaissance/Attack
National origin Iran
Designer Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center
Introduction September 2012[1]
Status Active. In Production
Primary user Iran
Produced 2012-present

The Shahed 129 (Persian: شاهد ۱۲۹‎‎, English: "Eye-Witness") is an Iranian Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) first publicly unveiled in September 2012. The aircraft is claimed to be capable of carrying out combat and reconnaissance missions with an endurance of 24 hours, making it the first Iranian MALE UAV.[2][3] Its shape is similar to that of the US MQ-1 Predator drone.

Development[edit]

Work on the project has been underway in 2007 as this was the time when Iran announced the production of cloned Wankel engines for UAV. Production of different parts of the UAV was assigned to different subsidiaries of IRGC like Malek Ashtar University and Shahed Research Center.[4] The final assembly is done in HESA. In July 2012, Shahed 129 was first seen in Great Prophet 7 war games along with some other new UAV.[5] But it was September 2012 that Iran officially unveiled the UAV. As land based communications limit the range that the aircraft can go without losing the link to the control station, Shahed 129 uses an autopilot system similar to Karrar to follow some predefined way-points and conduct its mission, beyond control station's communication range. Iranian military officials have said that Shahed 129 UAV can increase Iran's surveillance capabilities in border areas, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.[6] Shahed 129 is said to be able to carry Sadid-1 missiles, making it Iran's second weapons capable UAV after Karrar. This suggests that Sadid-1 is not solely a light anti-ship missile but supports more general purpose air to surface strike roles.[7] Based on the footage, a rough estimate of the size of the drone would be: Wing span: 16 m and Length: ~8 m.

On September 2013 Iran has launched the mass-production of the indigenously developed Shahed 129 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which was unveiled in September 2012, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced. The drone was displayed recently in an armed configuration, carrying four guided missiles (Sadid) loaded on two twin-launchers, carried underwing. Iranian sources stated the drone can carry up to eight ‘weapons’, designed to hit stationary and mobile targets alike

Exports[edit]

General Aziz Jafari the chief of the IRGC announced that Iran is currently marketing the Shahed-129 UCAV for export to potential international customers.

Operational History[edit]

On April 10, 2014, rebels in Syria recorded a UAV resembling a Shahed 129 flying over Eastern Ghouta, Damascus.[8]

An Iranian media report showed a Shahed-129 UCAV striking two targets in Syria at locations 35°57'2.12"N, 36°59'29.12"E and 36°03'11.12"N, 37°03'8.99"E.[9]

Another YouTube video reportedly shows Shia militia targeting ISIS vehicles in Iraq.[10]

On 8 June 2017, an Iranian IRGC armed drone Shahed 129 was shot down by Coalition Forces In Syria. U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), the top American task force leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, announced the incident in talking to the press on June 8, 2017. The apparent attack had occurred earlier the same day and U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle fighters had responded by shooting down the pilotless plane.[11]

On 20 June 2017, a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle shot down a Shahed 129 drone near Al-Tanf, Syria.[12][13] Pakistan shot down an Iranian UCAV Shahed 129 on 21 June 2017 inside Pakistani territory near Panjgur with indigenous JF17 aircraft [1]

Specifications[edit]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iran unveils 'Epic' new drone". Russia Today. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Iranian experts make Liko radar-evading drone". Press TV. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Iran's IRGC produces new 24-hour airborne drone: Cmdr". Press TV. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  4. ^ پرونده ای برای هواپیماهای بدون سرنشین ایران Asr-e Iran
  5. ^ "Photo: Iran's brand new drones (including an Israeli UAV clone) exposed during recent wargames". 4 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "توضیح سلامی درمورد قدرت موشکی ایران". 26 September 2012. 
  7. ^ http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9106240366
  8. ^ "Iranian Shahed 129 drone appears over Damascus". 10 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Persian_boy (2016-02-04), Iran made Shahed-129 UCAV against terrorist groups in Syria & Western borders, retrieved 2016-02-05 
  10. ^ Reza Rezaie (2015-08-09), iraq shia militia using iranain made armed drone shahed 129 target isis wahhabi crazy near baghdad, retrieved 2016-02-05 
  11. ^ "F-15E Shot Down "Predator-Sized" Drone That Attacked Coalition Forces In Syria". The Drive. 8 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "Coalition shoots down armed UAV in Syria". June 20, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Syria conflict: US jet 'downs drone' near Jordan border". BBC News. June 20, 2017. The F-15 plane downed the drone around 00:30 on Tuesday (21:30 GMT Monday) north-east of Tanf, according to a US military statement. [...] Military officials who spoke to CNN described the drone as a Shahed 129, a model unveiled by Iran in 2012.