Shahed S-171 Simorgh

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Shahed S-171 Simorgh
Simorgh UAV Fars.jpg
Role reconnaissance UAV
National origin Iran
Manufacturer Shahed Aviation Industries
First flight 2014[1]
Status ?
Primary user Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Produced 2010s–present

The Shahed S-171 Simorgh (English: "Phoenix") is an Iranian jet-powered flying wing reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) produced by Shahed Aviation Industries.[2]

It is a full-size copy of the American RQ-170 UAV captured by Iran.[2] It is one of two Iranian flying wing UAVs based on the RQ-170, along with the Saegheh, a smaller version, with which it is often confused.

Design[edit]

The Simorgh is an exact copy of the RQ-170, down to the landing gear and tires.[3] It seems to be built mostly out of fiberglass.[3]

Iran claims it can be armed with munitions[4], a claim which has been disputed by Western analysts.[3]

Status[edit]

In 2014 the Simorgh was called a "cheap fake", and the photos released by Iran (see right) were called "crude mockups".[3] Independent analysts have expressed severe doubt over the Saegheh, pointing out, for example, that the flight control system for a flying wing design is very demanding.[5]

Two were under construction as of 2014.[6] In 2014 Iran said that they would have four in service by March 2015.[7]

The UAV was first seen in May 2015 and was shown flying on Iranian TV in October 2016.[8] Jane's analysis placed the UAV at Kashan Air Base.[8][9]

There is no known operational use of the Simorgh, and as of 2018 it may have been abandoned.[10]

Some sources report that a Shahed 171 may have been shot down in the February 2018 Israel–Syria incident, but the UAV was probably the very similar Saegheh.[2]

Operators[edit]

 Iran

References[edit]

  1. ^ Opall-Rome, Barbara (13 February 2018). "Israel Air Force says seized Iranian drone is a knockoff of US Sentinel".
  2. ^ a b c "Sentinels, Saeqehs and Simorghs: An Open Source Survey of Iran's New Drone in Syria". bellingcat. 13 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Iranian Copy of U.S. Unmanned Stealth Aircraft is a Fake - USNI News". 12 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Farsnews". en.farsnews.com.
  5. ^ https://medium.com/war-is-boring/irans-stealth-drone-claims-are-total-bs-7948bfedb1bc
  6. ^ Wright, Galen (14 May 2014). "The Arkenstone - ارکنستون: Translation - Interview with Gen. Hajizadeh and Technical Descriptions of Features from the IRGC-ASF's Recent Exhibition".
  7. ^ "Farsnews". en.farsnews.com.
  8. ^ a b "Iranian 'stealth' UAV test site identified - IHS Jane's 360". 8 October 2016.
  9. ^ https://offiziere.ch/?p=29767
  10. ^ Frew, Joanna (May 2018). "Drone Wars: The Next Generation: An overview of current operators of armed drones" (PDF). Oxford: Drone Wars UK. p. 12.