Iranian state media showed images of the captured drone, apparently one of the smaller types of “catapult-launched” drones that the Navy has been so recently fond of. Such drones are fired by an oversized slingshot and often land in the water for later recovery.
Catapult drones have been hyped in multiple Navy reports in recent days, and late last week the launching of prototype X-47Bs by a steam-powered catapult was touted as a step toward more affordable drones.
The drone in the pictures was smaller than these, and has been speculated to be a Boeing ScanEagle, a military version of the SeaScan, a cheap drone used to track fish at sea. ScanEagles have been heavily used by the military in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
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