WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The drone came within 100 feet of a US F/A-18 jet while it was attempting to land on the aircraft carrier Nimitz, CNN reported on Tuesday.
The broadcaster said the US aircraft, which had been some several thousand feet off the deck, had to take an evasive maneuver. Officials, cited by CNN, described the UAV's movements as unsafe. The US side used an emergency radio frequency to warn the operators of the drone, which was not armed, to withdraw the vehicle. The US Navy's Fifth Fleet confirmed the incident in a Tuesday afternoon announcement.
"Despite repeated calls to stay clear of active fixed-wing flight operations in vicinity of USS Nimitz, the QOM-1" UAV "executed unsafe and unprofessional altitude changes in the close vicinity" of the F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Fifth Fleet said.
The incident comes after a series of confrontations between US and Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf.
In April, the USS Mahan had to switch on the danger signal and change its course after having a close encounter with an Iranian military ship.
Earlier, the USNS Invincible, escorted by the British Royal Navy, experienced a close encounter with high-speed attack ships deployed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, ultimately compelling the US spy ship and her formation to alter her course.