Iranian Drone Harasses USS Nimitz For a Second Time in a Week

August 14, 2017 6:51 PM - Updated: August 15, 2017 10:08 AM
An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) while another Super Hornet from the “Black Knights” and an EA-18G Growler from the “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142 prepare to launch, July 29, 2017, in the Arabian Gulf. US Navy photo.

For the second time in a week, an Iranian drone approached USS Nimitz (CVN-68) while the carrier conducted air operations in international waters.

Sunday night in the central Persian Gulf, the Iranian drone, “conducted an unsafe and unprofessional approach of USS Nimitz,” said a statement released by Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a Navy Fifth Fleet spokesman.

On August 8, an Iranian drone harassed an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Nimitz. During that incident, the drone came within 100 feet vertically and 200 feet laterally of the Super Hornet, which maneuvered to avoid colliding with what a Navy official told USNI News was a drone of about 14 feet by 26 feet.

During the most recent incident, repeated radio calls to establish communications with the drone’s controlling station were not answered, according to the Navy.

“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,” read the statement. “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.”


Ben Werner

Ben Werner

Ben Werner is a staff writer for USNI News. He has worked as a freelance writer in Busan, South Korea, and as a staff writer covering education and publicly traded companies for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore Business Journal. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from New York University.

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