RQ-170 Sentinel “Beast of Kandahar”

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.

Iran claims to have captured a RQ-170 Sentinel

Iran displays captured US RQ-170 Sentinel

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  • anon

    There are rumors of three 'stealthy' UAVs in Kandahar, at least this explains one of them. The Predator C 'Avenger' is probably the second, but that leaves the question, "What is the other one?" The sightings at Kandahar are not likely to be just this aircraft, though a subvariant or UCAV may be the case.

  • anon

    the picture isnt a RQ-170

  • AivDude

    Anon, what is it then?

    • KayFlyte

      I agree. It isn't a 170. Look at the tail.

      • Michael

        they are probably flaps.

  • Atm

    this is nt an RQ -170…. it doesnt have a tail.. but this pic shows one.

  • Anon

    The picture may not have come from Afghanistan either. The (background) topology (the dense wood/vegetation, the contour and soil formation) would be quite rare for Afghanistan.

  • EZ_patriot

    Not only does the tail suggest it is NOT an RQ-170, but look at the wings. Previous images of the RQ-170 suggest wings that sweep back at a continuous angle; these wings are canted in the middle, that is, the angle of sweepback changes mid-wing. It looks a lot like an X-47B, except that doesn't have a tail either. Could this be an experimental variant of that aircraft, testing new control surfaces? Or is it something completely new?

  • aardvark151

    possibly a pop up rudder of somekind, to assist in slow speed manuvering.

  • Roberto

    Why would an unmanned drone have what appears to be a windshield ???

  • Space Cowboy 1371

    Aardvark is probably right, apop-up vertical stab makes sense. Roberto, that's an intake. Two stabs, one from the top of each wing? Also, where are the wing top pods as seen on the 170? This maybe a developmental stage, years out of date.

  • harold

    that is a picture of a f-22 raptor edited in photoshop to resemble the 170

  • Cinis

    not sure if that shopped f-22 comment was a troll (f-22 looks nothing at all like that) but that pic looks to be a X-47b, another kind of stealth drone, big way you can tell is the point in the front and the much thinner wings, the RQ-170 is a wing shape more like the B-2

  • in the know

    It is an RQ-170 Sentinel.

    fyi – there are "additions"/variations just as in the auto industry.

    Carry on.