Shamkhani wrote on his Twitter page on Sunday described the American sinister attempts against Iran as ‘virtual drones’, noting that the United States will continue to fail against the Iranian nation in its plots to back terrorists and riots, re-imposition of arms restrictions and economic sanctions.
He emphasized that just as the Iranians had shot down the US intruding drone in June 2019, they will continue the same course in confronting the American policies to impose further defeats on Washington in virtual fields.
#Iran's downing of the US Global Hawk drone in Persian Gulf set off collapse of America's 'virtual drones' incl its backing of riots, continuing arms restrictions & return of economic sanctions. With the Iranian people's #Active_Resistance, #Trump's drones will continue to crash.— علی شمخانی (@alishamkhani_ir) September 20, 2020
A US-made Global Hawk spy drone was shot down by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on the Southern coasts of Iran in Hormozgan province.
The IRGC announced in a statement early Thursday June 20, 2019 that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the Central district of Jask after the aircraft violated Iran's airspace.
RQ-4 Global Hawk
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather.
Meantime, a US official said a US Navy MQ-4C Triton high-altitude drone was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missile.
Iran has downed many other US drones as well, and they have always started reproducing them after conducting reverse engineering on them.
Iran announced on December 4, 2011 that its defense forces had downed a US RQ-170 aircraft through a sophisticated cyber attack. The drone was the first such loss by the US. US officials have described the loss of the aircraft in Iran as a setback and a fatal blow to the stealth drone program.
The aircraft is among the highly sensitive surveillance platform in the CIA's fleet that was shaped and designed to evade enemy defenses.
Since December, 2011, Iran has hunted down several more US drones of various types.
In January 2013, a deputy commander of the Iranian Navy announced that the country's Army had hunted two more advanced RQ type UAVs.
"The air-defense units of the Army have hunted two enemy drones," Deputy Commander of the Iranian Navy for Coordination Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari told FNA.
"These drones were from 11th series of the RQ class, and one of them was hunted in Shahrivar 1390 (August 21-September 19, 2011) and the other one in Aban (October 22-November 20, 2012)," Rastegari said, adding that the Army research center is now studying the two UAVs.
"Much of the data of these drones has been decoded by the Army's Jihad and Research Center," he said, but did not provide any further detail.
The remarks by the Iranian commander came after Iran announced on December 4, 2012, that the IRGC Navy had hunted a US UAV over the Persian Gulf after the drone violated the country's airspace.
The IRGC navy commander announced at the time that the hunted UAV was a ScanEagle drone, adding that "such drones are usually launched from large warships".
ScanEagle is a small, low-cost, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.
Iran later reproduced its own model of ScanEagle through reverse engineering techniques.