The RQ-170 Sentinel is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Lockheed Martin and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). It has been deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Beast of Kandahar, an aircraft, which was photographed in Afghanistan in 2007, is a surveillance aircraft, confirms US Air Force. The US Air Force on 8th December confirmed for the first time that it is flying a stealth unmanned aircraft known as the “Beast of Kandahar,” a drone spotted in photos and shrouded in secrecy.
According to the details, RQ-170 which previously could be seen in photos only is actually an aircraft of US Air Force and the USAF has confirmed its existence. According to the officials, US Air Force was looking for a technology on which the ground forces could rely for its surveillance characteristics. RQ-170 Sentinel, generally known as Beast of Kandahar, is an unmanned aerial vehicle which provides the technical support to the troops appointed on grounds.
United States use these stealth drones to make surveillance flights over Iran using bases in neighboring Afghanistan. The nature of the missions usual include to collect intelligence on Iranian nuclear program.
The “RQ” prefix for the aircraft indicates an unarmed drone, unlike the “MQ” designation used for Predator and Reaper aircraft equipped with missiles and precision-guided bombs. Aviation experts dubbed the drone the “Beast of Kandahar” after photographs emerged earlier this year showing the mysterious aircraft in southern Afghanistan in 2007.
The image suggested a drone with a radar-evading stealth-like design, resembling a smaller version of a B-2 bomber. The air force said the aircraft came out of Lockheed Martin’s “Skunk Works,” also known as Advanced Development Programs, in California — the home of sophisticated and often secret defense projects including the U-2 spy plane, the F-22 fighter jet and the F-117 Nighthawk.