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The Beast of Kandahar
The RQ-170 Sentinel drone is a very easy Metal Earth model and a great choice for beginners. It consists of just seven pieces on one sheet of metal. Assembled, it measures 4.13" x 1.56" x 1.56" (10.6 x 4 x 4 cm). The Sentinel came to the world's attention when one crashed on a spy mission in Iran.
Each Metal Earth model is laser etched in meticulous detail on 11 cm (4.33") metal sheets. Pop out the pieces by hand (or use wire cutters to get especially crisp lines), bend the tabs using needle-nose pliers, and fit them together as shown in the simple pictorial instructions. For maximum dramatic effect, display your model on the LED Display Base or the Solar Spinner (sold separately, see the Related Products below).
Please note that Metal Earth models have sharp edges and are not suitable for small children. Metal Earth was originally called MetalWorks.
Are you curious...?
The US Air Force operates an estimated "20 or so" Lockheed Martin RQ-170 unmanned aerial vehicles for the CIA, and the USAF doesn't say much about its capabilities. It's been in service since 2007 and is believed to be a stealth aircraft with reconnaissance equipment. Sentinels have been confirmed operational in Afghanistan and have been spotted in the skies of Iran and Pakistan, where it collected intelligence that led to the death of Osama bin Laden. In 2011 the Iranians claimed to have captured an RQ-170 flying over their airspace, and the Pentagon did allow as how they'd lost one in the region. The US politely asked Iran to return it. Iran demurred and filed a complaint with the United Nations.
Very few details about this drone have been released. The "RQ" designation means that it doesn't carry weapons. Aviation Week says its wingspan is 66' (20m). Nobody knows what power plant it uses. One of the earliest sightings was in grainy photographs near Kandahar Airfield, where it earned the nickname "The Beast of Kandahar." The design lacks some of the most advanced stealth technologies, indicating that the Pentagon probably expects to lose some. Its gray color indicates a mid-altitude ceiling. Its mission is believed to be communication intercept and battlefield support rather than information gathering. But most of this is deduction and guesswork.