Iranian drone comes within 100 feet of US Navy jet


The drone came within 100 feet of a US F-18 jet that while it was attempting to land on the aircraft carrier Nimitz, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The F/A-18E Super Hornet jet was on the landing approach when an Iranian drone approached, said unnamed U.S. defense officials.

While the drone was within 100 feet of the jet vertically, it was about 200 feet away from the aircraft.

After Navy personnel used an emergency radio frequency to warn the Iranian drone operators to cease their activity, the unmanned aircraft eventually backed off. Officials characterized the drone encounter as an "unsafe and unprofessional" provocation.

"The unsafe maneuver created a collision hazard and is not in keeping with global maritime customs and laws", the statement said.

The Navy official also indicated this incident marked "the 13th unsafe and/or unprofessional interaction between US and Iranian maritime forces" so far this year.

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The Super Hornet belongs to Strike Fighter Squadron 147, which is deployed aboard the Nimitz from Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.

But this appears to be the first time an Iranian drone has come dangerously close to a USA fighter plane in the Gulf.

The official described the interaction as "unsafe and unprofessional".

The USS Thunderbolt fired warning shots at an armed Iranian patrol boat in the northern end of the Persian Gulf after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to a defense official familiar with details of the incident.

In the Persian Gulf, there have been an increased number of close calls and incidents as the United States has stepped up assistance to Saudi Arabia and other allies fighting Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.