Iran has manufactured a new drone which is capable of carrying out military and border patrol missions. The new remotecontrolled aircraft, called Shaparak (Butterfly), has a maximum operational radius of 50 kilometres (31 miles), and a maximum flight ceiling of 15,000 feet (4,572 metres), according to Reza Danandeh Hakamabad, the aeronautics engineer in charge of the project.
The aircraft is capable of three-and-half hours of non-stop flying, and can carry an eight kg (17-pound) payload. The unmanned aircraft is powered by a two-cylinder engine, and is equipped with three digital color cameras, that can transmit high-resolution footage to the base on the ground.
Iran successfully tested a home-made radar-evading UAV with bombing capabilities in June 2009. In February 2011, Iran inaugurated the production line of two home-made UAVs with bombing and reconnaissance capabilities. The two high-tech drones named ‘Ra’d’ (Thunder) and ‘Nazir’ (Harbinger) are capable of conducting long-range reconnaissance, patrolling, assault and bombing missions with high precision.