US Navy drone shot down by Iranian missile cost $130M

A U.S. spy drone shot down by an Iranian missile over the Strait of Hormuz has an estimated price tag of $130 million.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned drone, made by Northrop Grumman Corp., is able to fly for more than 30 hours and is designed to gather near-real-time intelligence using high-resolution imagery, according to the company website.

It has flown missions in support of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Africa and the greater Asia-Pacific region, amassing more than 250,000 flight hours.

According to an Air Force statement, the Global Hawk is considered to be one of the U.S. military’s most sophisticated unmanned aircraft. It has a wingspan of 130.9 feet and a length of 47.6 feet. The RQ-4 Global Hawk can fly at a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet.

The cost of the unmanned drone doesn’t take into account research and development.

U.S. officials say the Navy high-altitude drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile on Thursday and was flying 17 miles from Iran in international airspace.

"This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace," Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a US Central Command spokesman, said in a statement.

President Trump condemned Iran’s action and called the incident "a very foolish move."

“I think probably Iran made a mistake. I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down,” Trump said during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office Thursday. “I have a feeling, I may be wrong and I may be right, but I’m right a lot. I have a feeling that it was a mistake made by somebody that shouldn't have been doing what they did.”


The incident is escalating the tension between the two countries. The Trump administration announced the deployment of 1,000 troops to the Middle East. The Iranians have said it's days away from enriching uranium to levels beyond what would have been banned under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal of which the U.S. is withdrawing.