Iranian Drone Interferes With USS Nimitz Flight Operations

Marie Harrington
August 9, 2017

The Iranian QOM-1 drone executed "dangerous" altitude changes over global waters as the Super Hornet was preparing to land on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the central Persian Gulf, according to a U.S. Naval Forces Central statement.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that despite repeated radio calls to stay clear of the USA plane, the Iranian drone "executed unsafe and unprofessional altitude changes" in the incident.

This is the 13th unsafe or unprofessional action between US and Iranian maritime forces in 2017.

The F/A-18 maneuvered repeatedly to avoid the drone officials said and it did not appear to be armed.

The "QOM-1" drone came within 100 feet below the aircraft and 200 feet to the side of the aircraft.

At the time of the incident, the jet had been in a holding pattern and was planning to land on the carrier, the statement said.

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The drone eventually moved away from the scene in the Persian Gulf after the Navy made several emergency radio messages warning the operators to move it.

The official described the interaction as "unsafe and unprofessional".

On July 25, a patrol vessel of the american navy had fired warning shots against a ship by iranian corps Guards of the islamic revolution, after the latter has approached at least 140 metres.

Earlier, the USNS Invincible, escorted by the British Royal Navy, experienced a close encounter with high-speed attack ships deployed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, ultimately compelling the United States spy ship and her formation to alter her course.

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

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