Iran’s advanced drone program has proven a key pillar of deterrence against both Washington and Tehran’s regional adversaries, with the Islamic Republic developing and fielding dozens of varieties of sophisticated, home-grown reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over the past four decades.
Iranian media has shown off footage of a long-range, high endurance reconnaissance and strike drone keeping track of a US warship sailing in international waters in the northern Indian Ocean.
The footage, shot by the Ababil-5 UAV’s onboard day and nighttime cameras, shows the drone loitering near the US warship – which appears to be an Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyer, as it traverses local waters.
The Ababil-5 reportedly took off for its mission from an Iranian military base situated at Jask, a small port town in Hormozgan province, southeastern Iran. According to local media, the drone managed to keep tabs on the American vessel over a period of roughly 24 hours.