Shahed 171 Simorgh

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Shahed 171 Simorgh
Shahed 171 Simorgh.jpg
Role reconnaissance UAV
National origin Iran
Manufacturer Shahed Aviation Industries
First flight 2014[1]
Status ?
Primary user IRGC AF
Produced 2010s–present

The Shahed 171 Simorgh (English: "Phoenix"; sometimes S-171) 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.


Shahed Simorgh.png
Simorgh UAV Fars.jpg

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] One researcher says the weight, engine, and endurance are inferior to the RQ-170.[4]

Iran claims it can be armed with munitions[5], a claim which has been disputed by Western analysts.[3]


In 2014 the Simorgh was called a "cheap fake", and the photos released by Iran 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.[6]

Two were under construction as of 2014.[7] In 2014 Iran said that they would have four in service by March 2015.[8]

The UAV was first seen in May 2015 and was shown flying on Iranian TV in October 2016.[9] Jane's analysis placed the UAV at Kashan Air Base.[9][10]

There is no known operational use of the Simorgh, and as of 2018 it may have been abandoned.[11]

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]



See also[edit]

Related development[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era[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. ^ Ahmad, Naveed (2 June 2019). "The Advent of Drones: Iran's Weapon of Choice" (PDF). International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah).[dead link]
  5. ^ "Farsnews".
  6. ^ Rawnsley, Adam (30 November 2014). "Iran's Stealth Drone Claims Are Total BS".
  7. ^ 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".
  8. ^ "Farsnews".
  9. ^ a b "Iranian 'stealth' UAV test site identified - IHS Jane's 360". 8 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Iran's Simorgh Test Site Identified". 8 October 2016.
  11. ^ Frew, Joanna (May 2018). "Drone Wars: The Next Generation: An overview of current operators of armed drones" (PDF). Oxford: Drone Wars UK. p. 12.