GPS Glitch Opens Window for Iran to Take Control of U.S. Spy Drone
Iranian engineers outwitted their American counterparts over the global positioning system (GPS) technology employed on Tehran's recently captured unmanned spy drone. REUTERS

Iranian state TV has broadcast a video of an U.S. drone that crashed earlier this week and was seized by authorities in the Islamic Republic.

The two-minute video shows Iranian officials examining the RQ-170 Sentinel, which appeared to still be intact.

Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, claimed the aircraft was brought down during an electronic ambush.

A Pentagon spokesman rejected the allegations and refused to comment further on the incident.

Iranian state radio said the drone was detected above the eastern town of Kashmar, 140 miles from the border with Afghanistan.

A former U.S. official confirmed that the drone featured in the video was an RQ-170 Sentinel, which the U.S. military lost control of this week.

U.S. officials expressed concern that Iranian engineers might be able to determine the chemical composition of the drone's radar-detecting paint and the optics system, which affords clear views from tens of thousands of feet.

"This is the jewel for them now," said Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution, an independent think tank. "It depends on what was on the plane on this mission, but one sensor it has carried in the past is an AESA radar. This is very advanced radar that really is a difference maker for our next generation of planes, not just drones, but also manned ones like F-22s and F-35s."