On Sunday an Iranian drone flew in an “unsafe and unprofessional manner” close to a US aircraft carrier in the central Persian Gulf, according to the US Navy.
The QOM-1 drone came within 1,000 feet of US aircraft flying near the USS Nimitz. The official said the US Navy used an emergency radio frequency to attempt to call Iranian ground units.
A US defense official told CNN the US deemed the drone’s behavior unsafe because it did not have any aircraft navigation lights on.
Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a US Naval Forces Central Command spokesman confirmed the incident in a statement: “An Iranian QOM-1/Sadegh-1 conducted an unsafe and unprofessional approach of USS Nimitz. … 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.”
This is the 14th unsafe encounter with Iran this year, according to a US Navy official.
This latest incident is the second within a week that involved a drone interacting unsafely with US carrier-based aircraft.
Bottom line: At some point, an Iranian drone or gunboat will actually get too close to a U.S. naval asset in the Persian Gulf and be taught a lesson in gunboat diplomacy. — JED