Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

US Military: Iranian Drone Comes Within 30 Meters of US Fighter Jet

A U.S. Navy F  A-18 Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the USS George Washington A U.S. Navy F A-18 Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the USS George Washington
Sammy Stanley | 09 August, 2017, 00:27

An Iranian drone came within 100 feet of a U.S. Navy fighter jet preparing to land on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier in the central Persian Gulf, a situation the Defense Department described as "dangerous".

The drone, identified as a QOM-1, came within 100 feet vertically and 200 feet (62 meters) laterally, the US Naval Institute reported. The drone prompted the plane to repeatedly make evasive maneuvers to avoid the drone. The F/A-18 was in a landing pattern several thousand feet off the deck of the ship waiting to land.

In recent months, US jets operating in Syria have shot down armed Iranian drones that moved too close to American ground troops. The Navy did not believe that the drone was armed.

This is the 13th "unsafe and unprofessional" interaction between USA and Iranian forces this year.

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Earlier this year, a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned the United States that if it designated the group a terrorist organisation, its action could be perilous for USA forces in the region. It did eventually move off.

"The risky maneuver by the QOM-1 [drone] in the known vicinity of fixed wing flight operations and at coincident altitude with operating aircraft created a collision hazard and is not in keeping with global maritime customs and laws", the CENTCOM statement said.

In a statement, U.S. Central Command declared the incident "unsafe and unprofessional", calling it was a breach of global maritime customs and laws. The American military said this was the 13th "unsafe" or "unprofessional" interaction between American and Iranian maritime forces this year.

The U.S. and Iran have had multiple close encounters in the Arabian Gulf, also known as the Persian Gulf.

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