Iran uses an Ababil-5 UAV to monitor a US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer


According to a video published by Press TV on October 4, 2023, in a recent surveillance feat, an Iranian Army drone successfully tracked an American Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the Indian Ocean for approximately a day.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. (Picture source: Press TV)


The Ababil-V unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was launched from a base on the southern Iranian island of Jask. The Ababil V drone, with its radar-absorbing body, is notably difficult to detect through conventional reconnaissance methods.

Additionally, it can be equipped with up to six precision missiles that pack powerful explosive warheads. Powered by a Rotax-914 engine, similar to the Mohajer-6, it boasts 115 horsepower and a range of 480 km.

The drone can be armed with either four guided anti-tank missiles from the Almas series, which have an 8-kilometer range, or six precision-guided bombs from the Qaem series, each weighing 2.4 kilograms and having a 6-kilometer range. It can serve both reconnaissance and combat missions.

This drone is part of the Iranian Army's current nationwide drill, which showcases a wide array of advanced reconnaissance and combat drones.

This isn't the first instance where Iranian drones have obtained clear images of American naval assets. Notably, in April 2021, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) unveiled sharp footage of an American aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, captured during a drone overflight. This footage, captured by a squadron of drones, detailed every aircraft and military equipment on the carrier's deck.

Context

In the late 2000s, the Strait of Hormuz saw a series of stand-offs between Iranian speedboats and U.S. Navy warships. Fast forward to 2015, amidst the backdrop of the Iran Deal negotiations, the U.S. Navy reported multiple incidents of what they termed as "unsafe and unprofessional" conduct by the Iranian naval forces.