This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard has claimed to have created a ‘suicide drone’ capable of flying at speeds up to 160 mph and altitudes of up to 900 metres, and causing damage on all terrains – including targets at sea. According to a Daily Mail report, It was originally developed for maritime surveillance and not designed to be armed with missiles.

However, the Tasnim news agency, which is close to the Guards explained: ‘it can carry heavy payloads of explosives for combat missions to launch suicide attacks. When flying at a high cruising speed near the surface of the water, the aircraft can collide with the target and destroy it, either a vessel or an onshore command centre.’

Although plenty of static footage of the drone has been released, no videos or photos of the device in action were distributed. The agency added: ‘It has an advanced military camera with the capability of being used at night and during the day, as well as the possibility of being used in damp sea conditions.’

Earlier this month, the Revolutionary Guards claimed to have produced a new attack drone, the Saegheh (Thunderbolt), by reverse-engineering a US Central Intelligence Agency RQ-170 Sentinel drone that was captured in late 2011.

Iran claimed one of its cyber warfare units took control of the US drone and landed it safely, while the US says a technical problem caused it to crash. The Guards released pictures of the Thunderbolt, but no footage of it in flight. These developments come at the heels of incidents in which ISIS fighters in Iraq have bought drones which are for sale on Amazon and used them against their enemies, killing two Kurdish militiamen and injuring two French special forces soldiers earlier this month.

In another incident, two Kurdish peshmerga fighters were killed and two French paratroopers wounded after an ISIS drone exploded after it was brought back to a base near Arbil in northern Iraq to be examined. A US military official has said while it was not clear where ISIS had acquired the drones, they were clearly planning to use them as remote controlled bombs as they tried to defend their territory from the advance of the Iraqi army, Kurdish militia and Syrian regime forces.

Air Force Colonel John Dorrian, US military spokesman in Baghdad, said: ‘There’s nothing very high tech about them. They can just buy those as anybody else would. Some of those are available on Amazon.’