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Iranian Drone Buzzes US Aircraft Carrier, Creates ‘Potential For Collision’

REUTERS/Mike Blake.

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

An Iranian drone buzzed the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf on Sunday evening, according to a statement from the Navy.

“An Iranian QOM-1/Sadegh-1 conducted an unsafe and unprofessional approach of USS Nimitz (CVN 68), during fixed wing flight operations, while the aircraft carrier was operating in international waters of the Central Arabian Gulf, Aug. 13,” the Navy said in a Monday statement.

The Navy noted that the drone came within 1,000 feet of U.S. aircraft and did not use navigation lights.

“Despite repeated radio calls to establish communications and remain clear, the QOM-1’s controlling station was unresponsive and the UAV did not use any aircraft navigation lights while it made several passes in close proximity to Nimitz and its escort ships during active flight operations, coming within 1,000 feet of U.S. aircraft,” the Navy added. “The failure of the Iranian UAV to utilize standard, internationally-mandated navigation lights during a night time approach of a U.S. aircraft carrier engaged in flight operations created a dangerous situation with the potential for collision and is not in keeping with international maritime customs and laws.”

According to the Navy, this recent run-in constitutes the 14th unsafe or unprofessional action in 2017 between U.S. and Iranian maritime forces and marked the second time in a week that an Iranian drone has harassed the U.S. in the region. An Iranian QOM-1 flew within 100 feet vertically of an F/A-18E Super Hornet last Tuesday.

The USS Nimitz is currently stationed in the Persian Gulf for the purpose of deploying sorties against the Islamic State as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

A Navy official told USNI News last Thursday that the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group will remain in the region nine days longer than expected after arriving in mid-July.

CENTCOM did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation by press time.

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