WASHINGTON (CNN/WAVY) — An Iranian drone came within 100 feet of a US Navy F/A-18 attempting to land on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, Navy officials said.
Navy officials released a statement on the encounter Tuesday afternoon, calling it “unsafe” and “unprofessional.”
An Iranian QOM-1 unmanned aerial vehicle forced the US aircraft to take evasive action, according to officials.
The drone came within 100 feet below the aircraft and 200 feet to the side of the aircraft.
An F/A-18 from the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 was in a landing pattern several thousand feet off the deck of the ship waiting to land.
The F/A-18 maneuvered repeatedly to avoid the drone, officials said. The drone did not appear to be armed.
The US used an emergency radio frequency in the immediate area to warn those operating the drone to back away. It did eventually move off.
According to Navy officials, this is the 13th “unsafe” or “unprofessional” encounter between US and Iranian maritime forces this year.