Iranian drone forces U.S. fighter to take ‘evasive action,’ while landing on carrier

Special to

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

The U.S. Navy says an Iranian drone flew within 30 meters of one of its jets on August 8 as the U.S. aircraft was trying to land on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. / AFP

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command spokesman Bill Urban said the encounter occurred in international airspace as the U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter bomber was preparing to land on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier.

“The dangerous maneuver by the QOM-1 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 international maritime customs and laws,” Urban said.

Urban said it was the 13th “unsafe and unprofessional” interaction by U.S. and Iranian maritime forces during 2017.

He said the U.S. fighter bomber had to take “evasive action” to maneuver out of the way of the drone.

In July, a U.S. Navy patrol ship fired warning shots at an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) boat in the Persian Gulf as it approached the U.S. warship.