Friday, December 4, 2009

USAF Admits to RQ-170 Sentinel, the "Beast of Kandahar" (Updated)

UPDATE, 2011: An RQ-170 Sentintel fell into the hands of Iran's military In December, 2011. See "Related Articles 2011" below.

December, 2009: The RQ-170 Sentinel is a flying wing, sleek and sneaky. To those who know history, it has an eerie resemblance to a WWII Nazi jet fighter. Finally, after nearly a year of speculation about the mysterious plane, we have answers. reports (Dec. 4, 2009): Earlier this year, blurry pictures were released by the French magazine Air & Cosmos of a previously unknown stealth drone taken at Kandahar in Afghanistan. The photos, snapped in 2007, prompted a wave of speculation about the classified aircraft.

Aviation Week also has a report (Dec. 4, 2009): The U.S. Air Force has confirmed the existence of the “Beast of Kandahar” UAV that was seen flying out of Afghanistan in late 2007. The jet aircraft – a tailless flying wing with sensor pods faired into the upper surface of each wing – is the RQ-170 Sentinel, developed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. An Air Force official revealed to Aviation Week Friday afternoon that the service is “developing a stealthy unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to provide reconnaissance and surveillance support to forward deployed combat forces.”

Related Articles 2009:
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