Iranian Drone Buzzes US Navy Fighter Jet During Carrier Landing


An Iranian drone flew within 100 feet of a U.S. Navy fighter jet Tuesday over the Persian Gulf, forcing the F/A-18E Super Hornet to change directions to avoid collision, the Navy said. They were separated by 100 feet in altitude - close enough so that the F-18 pilot took evasive action, Martin reports.

The Navy said the incident involved an F/A-18E Super Hornet that was preparing to land in worldwide airspace on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the central Gulf.

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

"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. Officials, cited by CNN, described the UAV's movements as unsafe.

One unnamed defense official told Fox News that it was the first time an Iranian drone has "interrupted a flight pattern".

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The jet was about to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, which recently arrived in the Persian Gulf. The drone did not appear to be armed.

Tuesday's incident comes on the heels of another encounter between United States and Iranian ships late last month.

In July, the USS Thunderbolt patrol ship fired several warning shots at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ship in the Gulf.

The Navy has said the helicopter was on a routine patrol in worldwide airspace and that the flare was sacked after American ships saw the Guard vessels approaching at a high rate of speed and not responding to communications.