BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:55 P.M.) – For the second time in less than seven days an Iranian military drone buzzed a US Navy aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, creating a “dangerous situation with the potential for collision” with US jets, the US Navy said Monday.
The Iranian “Sadegh” drone was flying without navigational lights near the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf on Sunday night when the interaction occurred, officials said. In addition to “not keeping with international maritime laws and customs,” the unarmed drone’s maneuvers could have disrupted the flight operations of the F/A-18 Super Hornet, a Navy spokesman told reporters Monday.
Last Tuesday, a US Navy F/A-18 aircraft had “an unsafe and unprofessional interaction with an Iranian QOM-1 unmanned aerial vehicle,” the US Central Command said at the time, though reports indicate the drone was also unarmed.
Last week, the Iranian aircraft annoyed US pilots from just 100 feet away. On Sunday night, the F/A-18 Super Hornet flew within 1,000 feet of the Iranian drone, a US Navy spokesman noted. On both occasions, the US claimed that it had made multiple attempts to establish radio contact without success.
In July, the USS Thunderbolt fired several warning rounds at Iranian ships that sailed too close to US vessels in the Persian Gulf. The USS Mahan had to change course after an Iranian military ship moved within 1,000 yards of it in April.