A former senior Pentagon official with extensive knowledge of unmanned aircraft expressed great scepticism of the aircraft supposed to be a stealth RQ-170 shown on Iranian television.
AOL Defense asked one of Washington’s most experienced UAS experts to have a look at the Iranian TV footage. The so-called ‘Beast of Kandahar’ has been the subject of a few photos but none of them are terribly revealing of the kind of detail needed to make an expert analysis of the aircraft on Iranian TV. Aviation Week’s Bill Sweetman, believes that the aircraft is the one he named, and he said so on CNN. CNN reported that a US official said there is, “…no reason to believe the drone in the Iranian video is fake”. Not exactly an affirmative…
AOL’s expert is described as “very experienced”. Here’s what he said in an email after viewing the Iranian footage. “Looks like a fake,” he wrote. “Does not look like the condition of an aircraft that lost control. Also wrong colour, and they are not showing the landing gear or bottom of the aircraft… and the welds on the wing joints are hardly stealthy…” In order to avoid setting off radar, welds on stealth aircraft must be very close to the surface of the structure and extremely smooth
Source: AOL Defense