RQ-170 is an unmanned, stealthy, penetrating, day/night tactical ISR platform.
Although the RQ-170 was still under development and test, USAF employed it in Southwest Asia for Operation Enduring Freedom.
The RPA was developed in response to DOD’s call for additional RPA support for combatant commanders. USAF publicly acknowledged the aircraft after photos appeared in foreign news media of operations over Afghanistan in 2009.
The type is operated by the 432nd Wing at Creech and the 30th Reconnaissance Squadron at Tonopah Test Range.
In 2011, an RQ-170 was captured almost intact by Iranian forces. Iran allegedly reverse-engineered a copy of the aircraft, which the Israeli Air Force reported shooting down during an engagement inside Israeli territory on Feb. 10, 2018.
The RQ-170 took part in a joint-exercise at Nellis in August 2020, testing its ability to accompany a B-2 on penetrating operations aided by SEAD F-35s.
Contractor: Lockheed Martin.
GCS Location: Creech AFB, Nev.; Tonopah Test Range, Nev.
Aircraft Location: Tonopah Test Range, Nev.; deployed worldwide.
Known Active Variant: •RQ-170. No data available.
Dimensions: Span 65.6 ft, length 14.75 ft.