Iran Shows Alleged U.S. Stealth Drone on TV

U.S. military sources confirmed stealth RQ-170 crash-landed in Iran.

ByABC News
December 8, 2011, 11:38 AM

Dec. 8, 2011 — -- An aircraft that appears to be the highly sensitive American stealth drone lost in Iran looks intact and with little visible damage in new video broadcast on Iranian television today.

The cream-colored RQ-170 Sentinel is shown sitting on display in front of a patriotic Iranian poster as two uniformed military men examine the drone's radar-eluding batwing frame.

The Iranian military claims it downed the drone through a cyber attack as it was flying through Iranian airspace last week. U.S. military officials said the drone was not flying over Iran, but rather in western Afghanistan, and suffered an innocent malfunction before gliding into Iranian airspace.

Pentagon spokesperson Capt. John Kirby told reporters Monday there was no indication the drone was brought down by "hostile activity of any kind."

U.S. officials told ABC News Tuesday the drone had been on a secret surveillance mission for the Central Intelligence Agency when its operators lost control. The CIA declined to comment both when Iran claimed to have the drone and after video surfaced today. Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported that the drone was designed to automatically destroy sensitive data in the case of a malfunction, but in this case it "failed to do so."

WATCH: Drone Technology in Hands of Iran?

The RQ-170, known as the Beast of Kandahar, is one of America's most advanced unarmed surveillance drones -- so sensitive that the Air Force did not even acknowledge its existence until last year. It was reportedly used to keep tabs on the man believed to be Osama bin Laden during the Navy SEAL mission that took out the terror leader in Pakistan in May.