This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to most in the community, but the reverse engineering team is already going over Lockheed Martin’s handiwork with a fine toothcomb. From all accounts they see their fair share of U.S. hardware, but usually more pedestrian examples of UAS such as the Pioneer and Shadow. Hmm, I wonder where they come from and who is at the end of the ITAR free pipeline??
There was mention of this being the Revolutionary Guards chance as far as the downing was concerned. I can only speculate, as the context was a little strange with the translation. However, the reports read as follows; “it had a serious failure (for example engine failure), and it landed on its chest on very soft desert sands.” it continues, “which caused no serious damage. (As you saw in the videos.) They did not show the bottom of the aircraft and its landing gear because of damage, they could not open the doors and put the aircraft on them.”
Wow, all I can say here is let the failure speculation begin!
Dispatch two goes on to reveal some of the initial impressions made by the team.
Further consensus is that the aircraft was not shot down and that “most of the UAV’s that crash in Iran land safe and sound!” “Because most of them fly fully autonomous and without any remote control… after finishing their mission or serious failure, its autopilot lands the plane. He thinks it happened to this aircraft too.” Interesting perspective, may account for the multiple shoot down claims coming out of the Republic?! “about the landing gear, they break and detach from the fuselage during the landing in the desert sands.” About the color… “it seems to be unpainted Kevlar composite surface, so it does not have the antiradar worthfull color!”
Very telling for everyone involved, even those of us on the outside.