An Iranian drone nearly collided with a US Navy jet on Tuesday.
The F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 assigned to USS Nimitz, was preparing to land on the aircraft carrier in the Central Persian Gulf .
The Super Hornet had to manoeuvre to avoid collision with an Iranian QOM-1 unmanned aerial vehicle, resulting in a lateral separation of approximately 200 feet and a vertical separation of approximately 100 feet, according to a Facebook statement by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
The drone ignored repeated radio calls, the US officials said, describing the interaction as “unsafe and unprofessional,”according to Reuters.
While the officials did not specify which unit the US jet belonged to, the only carrier currently in the Gulf is the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), according to information made publicly available by the US Navy.
The Super Hornet was part of the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, assigned to the Nimitz, the US Naval Institute confirmed. It was operating in international airspace at the time of the incident, which occurred around 1pm local time on Tuesday.
US ships and airplanes that come close to the borders of China, Russia and Iran are often intercepted by those countries’ aircraft, which sometimes fly very close in an attempt to drive the intruders off. “Unsafe and unprofessional” is a common phrase used by the Pentagon to describe such encounters.