According to Tasnim news, citing official sources, Iran has suddenly introduced the Kaman 22 UCAV
Iranian media said, Kaman 22 UCAV can operate continuously for more than 24 hours with a range of 3,000 km and carries a maximum of 300 kg of weapons. It was developed to perform a variety of missions such as patrolling, reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, aerial photography, and precision attacks.
“This drone is equipped with combat and optical cargo and is designed based on the operational needs of the Air Force and is in the final stages of production,” said the Commander of the IRIAF.
It is worth noting that the UCAV of Iran looks almost identical to the most famous combat UCAV currently on the battlefield, the US MQ-9 Reaper. Western experts believe that Kaman 22 is designed based on the US MQ-9 Reaper series.
Compared to the MQ-9 Reaper, Iran’s UCAV is smaller in size, similar to the MQ-1 Predator series. Some of the other differences are in the landing gear, the wing tip, and the nose shape. It also carries an unknown set of weapons at hard points.
The Kaman 22 prototype is on display with 6 hard points under the wing. It can carry four guided missiles and two unguided bombs, as well as weapons like the domestic version of the GBU-12 Paveway laser-guided bomb and another one seems to be an AN/ALQ-101 ECM pod lookalike.
Iran has been trying to build up its UAV force since the 1980s, with domestic products at its core. Some modern Iranian UAVs are copied from American products, such as the Saegheh and Shahed-171 developed from the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth UAV platform, which was forced to land by Iran in 2011. Another product is the Shahed-129, which is very similar to the MQ-1 Predator.