Iranian drone comes close to United States fighter jet

09 August, 2017, 00:25 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • US Navy F  A-18E

An unarmed Iranian drone buzzed an American Super Hornet fighter jet as it circled an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, Defense Department officials said on Tuesday.

USA military officials say an Iranian drone harassed and almost collided with a Navy attack jet Tuesday as it prepared to land on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

The jet had to maneuver to avoid collision with the QOM-1, coming just 200 feet laterally and 100 feet vertically of each other.

After Navy personnel used an emergency radio frequency to warn the Iranian drone operators to cease their activity, the unmanned aircraft eventually backed off. Officials characterized the drone encounter as an "unsafe and unprofessional" provocation.

Lt. Chloe Morgan, a NAVCENT spokeswoman, issued a statement on the incident.

"The risky maneuver by the QOM-1 in the known vicinity of fixed wing flight operations ... created a collision hazard and is not in keeping with worldwide maritime customs and laws", the statement read.

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The US Navy described that incident as "abnormal and unsafe" and it took place the same day that Iran seized 10 American sailors whose boats had strayed into Iranian waters. The drone did not appear to be armed.

He added this was the 13th "unsafe and/or unprofessional" interaction between USA and Iranian maritime forces this year.

The Super Hornet belongs to Strike Fighter Squadron 147, which is deployed aboard the Nimitz from Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. Both of those incidents were deemed unsafe and unprofessional, Navy officials said.

In July, a U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel after U.S. officials claimed it closed to within 150 yards (450 feet).

The U.S. Navy reported the warplane was preparing to land on the U.S.S. Nimitz on Tuesday when a drone came into close proximity of the jet.

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