United States fighter jet avoids collision with Iranian drone

09 August, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Iranian drone comes within 100 feet of US Navy jet

A U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet had an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter with an Iranian QOM-1 unmanned aerial vehicle over global waters on August 8, according to a spokesperson for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

This is the 13th unsafe or unprofessional interaction between US and Iranian maritime forces in 2017, the officials noted. Tuesday's incident, which occurred in worldwide airspace, USA officials said, is an unsettling development for that reason, and it marks the latest in a series of threatening encounters between the two militaries.

Navy officials released a statement on the encounter Tuesday afternoon, calling it "unsafe" and "unprofessional".

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Hours before the incident, the drone was about 4 nautical miles from the Nimitz at an altitude of about 7,000 feet, the official said.

The drone was 200 feet away from the jet and 100 feet away from it vertically, the USA military said. At the time, the U.S. Navy jet was in a holding pattern waiting to land several thousand feet off the Nimitz.

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.

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The U.S. used an emergency radio frequency in the immediate area to warn those operating the drone to back away.

The Super Hornet belongs to Strike Fighter Squadron 147, which is deployed aboard the Nimitz from Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. The Navy did not believe that the drone was armed.

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

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