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Iranian UAV faces off, again, with US forces in the Gulf

Published: Updated:

An Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has conducted, yet again, an unsafe maneuver with US forces in the Arabian Gulf, according to a US Naval Central Command spokesman.

The incident on Sunday involved an Iranian QOM-1/Sadegh-1 UAV conducting an unsafe and unprofessional approach towards the USS Nimitz during fixed wing flight operations.

“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,” said Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a NAVCENT spokesman in an emailed statement from Bahrain.

“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,” he added.

The incident comes only one week after another unsafe approach was conducted by another Iranian UAV.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the USS Nimitz had an interaction with the Iranian UAV on August 8 as the aircraft was in a holding pattern preparing to land on the aircraft carrier, the US Navy said last week.

The UAV came in to a collision course with the fighterjet that managed to evade it.

This is the 14th unsafe interaction between US and Iranian maritime forces since January 2017.