Iran claimed December 4 to have shot down a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel UAV along the country’s eastern border. Five days later, an almost intact airframe closely resembling the secret airframe was shown on Iranian television. The NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul admitted that operators of “a US unarmed reconnaissance UAV” had lost control of it during “a mission over western Afghanistan late last week”.
Military of Iran
Western powers increasingly characterize Iran as a potential cause for instability in the Middle East. The U.S. and its allies charge Tehran with funding and supporting the insurgency in Iraq, maintaining a well-developed ballistic missile program and seeking its own nuclear arsenal.
Several Iranian manufacturers have joined a pursuit of a growing local market for affordable light airplanes for initial training and leisure flying. A proliferation of flight schools that cater to an expanding base of rich and middle-class Iranians has driven the recent surge in demand. The export market presents another opportunity, and a few Iranian-built aircraft have reportedly gone to customers in Australia.
Western aerospace executives may be wary about attending the Iran airshow, but will be missing out on a great future business opportunity if they don’t go, according to the event’s organizers. The show is scheduled from November 28 to December 1 at the Kish Island Free Trade Zone–located close to Dubai and one of the main trading links between Iran and its neighbors in the Gulf.