Iran used a Soviet-made air-defense system to shoot down the RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on June 20, not a domestic-made system as it had claimed, Newsweek reported on June 21, citing a Pentagon official.
The unnamed official identified the system as the S-125 Neva. The system is in service with 30 countries worldwide. However, Iran is not one them, which raises serious questions about the official’s claims.
According to the official, an Iranian S-125 site was among three targets the U.S. planned to strike on June 20, before President Donald Trump called off the attack.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed that it had used the domestically-made Khordad-3 air-defense system to shoot down the RQ-4A. The Guards proved its claims by released a video of the system launching a missile at the UAV.
It’s unclear why the Pentagon official made the false claims regarding the S-125. It may have been an attempt to undermine Iran’s domestic military industry, or simply a personal mistake. Iran operates a very similar soviet system, the S-75 Dvina.