U.S. officials are trying not to let too many details out about this supersecret drone. They won't say what type of sensor packages the RQ-170 drone, manufactured at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works in California and tested at Area 51 and over South Korea, was carrying. One reason is that they don’t wish for Iran to know precisely what each component does. In theory, the drone can be configured for high-resolution, full-motion video from high altitudes, for sampling and analyzing emissions, for tracking tagged targets on the ground, and for accurate hyper-spectral imaging of buildings and tunnels.
Its stealth comes from its color, which is relatively indistinguishable from the sky at altitudes around 50,000 feet, according to Aviation Week; its radar-refracting paint; its curves and angles, which reflect American stealth technology used since the Gulf War; and possibly for an active antiradar array located in its belly.
It's commandeered by the 30th Reconnaissance Squadron, an Air Force unit that operates out of Creech Air Force Base near Area 51 in Nevada. National Journal
Sunday, December 11, 2011
U.S. Drone in Iran Was Tested at Area 51
Could it be the drone is collecting information from on the ground in Iran? So much more to this drone story.