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U.S. Jet Takes Evasive Action After Close Call With Iranian Drone

by Courtney Kube /
Image: A F/A-18E comes in to land onboard USS George H.W. Bush in the Gulf
A F/A-18E Super Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-31) lands on-board the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), in the Gulf on Aug. 12, 2014.Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters

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An Iranian drone came dangerously close to a U.S. Navy F/A-18 as it was preparing to land on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, according to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

Despite numerous radio calls, the drone repeatedly changed altitude and came within 100 vertical feet of the jet. The close call, while the jet was flying in international airspace, forced the aircraft to maneuver to avoid collision.

Image: A F/A-18E comes in to land onboard USS George H.W. Bush in the Gulf
A F/A-18E Super Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-31) lands on-board the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), in the Gulf on Aug. 12, 2014.Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters

This the 13th unsafe and or unprofessional interaction between American and Iranian maritime forces this year, according to a statement from the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

The aircraft from the Nimitz are conducting regular sorties for Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, but a U.S. military official could not say whether this jet was returning from one of those missions.

The drone "created a collision hazard," U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said, adding that the actions were "not in keeping with maritime customs and laws."

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