Iranian drone makes unsafe interaction with US Navy's F/A-18E aircraft
An Iranian QOM-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has made an unsafe and unprofessional interaction with the US Navy fighter jet F/A-18E Super Hornet, the US Central Command (Centcom) officials confirmed.
The aircraft was assigned to the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and operating with the Strike Fighter Squadron 147 in the international airspace in the central Persian Gulf when the incident occurred.
The F/A-18E Super Hornet jet was in a holding pattern and preparing itself to land aboard the USS Nimitz when the Iranian drone conducted unsafe and unprofessional altitude changes in the close vicinity of the aircraft, even after repeated radio calls to stay clear.
According to the official statement, the fighter jet subsequently manoeuvred to avoid any collision with the QOM-1 drone.
The UAV's actions resulted in a lateral separation of approximately 200ft and a vertical separation of nearly 100ft between the two aircraft.
Centcom officials also noted that the QOM-1's illegal and dangerous approach within the known vicinity of fixed-wing flight operations created a risk of collision.
In addition, the Iranian activity did not adhere to the internationally recognised maritime customs and laws.
The US Navy coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt previously fired warning shots in June after an Iranian vessel made an unsafe and unprofessional approach in international waters.
The Iranian ship came within 150 yards of USS Thunderbolt during a naval coalition exercise in the Persian Gulf.