The Navy version of the RQ-4A drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz at 4:35 p.m. San Diego time on Thursday.
“Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false,” said Navy Capt. Bill Urban at Central Command. “This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace. ”
The drones have a 48-foot wingspan, a speed of over 300 miles per hour and can remain airborne over 24 hours. They cost over $100 million apiece.
The prototype Global Hawk was completed in 1998 at the former Teledyne Ryan aeronautical facility in San Diego.