Home » Foreign Forces » U.S. Navy Denies Iranian Drones Chased Away Destroyer Near Gulf of Oman


U.S. Navy Denies Iranian Drones Chased Away Destroyer Near Gulf of Oman

An MH-60R Sea Hawk approaches USS Higgins (DDG-76) during a vertical replenishment on Jan. 13, 2018. US Navy Photo

Navy officials are pushing back against claims that a U.S. destroyer was chased away from an Iranian military combined exercise in the Gulf of Oman by naval forces.

On Monday, Iranian state-controlled press reported that Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles chased away a U.S. ship and another warship that were too closely monitoring two days of exercises near the Makran coast, close to the Gulf of Oman.

“This morning and in the first hours of the drills, two warships of the coalition which had approached the drills zone to monitor the Iranian Navy units were identified by the Navy drones,” Rear Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi told the state-controlled Fars news service.
“After declaring the issue to the drills’ tactical base, the patrolling and reconnaissance planes flew over the coalition warships and warned them and the warships left the drills zone.”

In a statement to USNI News, U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. William Urban said the actions of the Iranians did not affect U.S. operations in the region.

“One U.S. warship operating in the Gulf of Oman received a transmission from Iranian maritime forces announcing an Iranian exercise,” Urban said in a statement.
“The U.S. warship continued to execute its mission and did not alter operations as a result of the radio transmission.”

5th Fleet did not specify what U.S. ship was involved, but a U.S. defense official told USNI News on Tuesday the ship was the guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG-76). Higgins is assigned to the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group that is operating in the Middle East as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Iranian forces twice in August harassed U.S. ships and aircraft operating in the Persian Gulf with domestically built unmanned aerial vehicles.

An Iranian drone came within 200 feet of an F/A-18E Super Hornet attempting to land on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on Aug. 8, 2017. Less than a week later, a second unmanned aircraft came within 1,000 feet of the carrier.

  • Centaurus

    So where are the purdy Youtube vids ?

  • Bob467

    Next time, just send in the BattleCruiser, formally known as the Frigate, formally known as the Litttle Crappy Ship. The Iranians will be sure to back down-after they pick themselves up off the floor from laughing too hard…

    • ElmCityAle

      Interesting suggestion, because in that one scenario, LCS with a RAM/SeaRAM system might be better equipped to shoot down a drone than the DDG. I wonder what the minimum target size is for an ESSM engagement by the DDG? It seems clear that the navy has some catching up to do with regard to dealing with small threats like drones.

      • DaSaint

        I’m curious as to how well these small drones can be detected in the first place. Can you imagine them intentionally crashing into aircraft on the flight deck to impede operations? That’s worse than a mere nuisance.

        • incredulous1

          that may be the reason we didn’t take it out. BUT, EMP weapons should be installed for this reason – then they would simply fall into the water.

      • Jack___Hole

        The navy should be easily caught up by now to the small drone threat. With all the delays and negative news of late, it’s clear that the navy command has become fat and lazy.

  • Al Johnson

    WHY would you LET a drone get within 1000 feet of a carrier ?

    • incredulous1

      let alone 200 feet. It seems Obama’s RoE are still in place if we wont protect our airspace or safety zones

      • Al Johnson

        Actually , I remember seeing the memo , maybe 5 or 6 years ago that said Obama gave ship Captains ” full discretion ” on how to protect their ship …

        • william scanlan

          Oh, come on! By that reasoning some idiot could blame President Reagan for the Stark attack.
          Try thinking outside narrow partisan leanings and add something substantive.

          • Al Johnson

            Are you trying to “Win the internet ” with stupid remarks ?
            WHAT do you think happens if a ship comes under surprise attack … You think the Captain has to find Trump on the golf course and ask him if it’s OK to defend his ship ?
            Come on man …

          • william scanlan

            My mistake. My reply should have been tagged to “Incredulous1” in response to “Obama’s RoE” remark.

          • Al Johnson

            I went back and read all the posts … I understand …. NO problem …
            Let’s see what HE has to say …

      • DaSaint

        Aircraft buzz ships. Drones buzz ships. Let me know the next time you want to shoot down a Russian fighter that buzzes within 200 feet of a USN ship.

        The reality is that unless there are already hostilities, you can’t do much. So get used to the irritation. It’s nothing new.

        • Danger_Dan

          Obama’s RoE which was GW Bush’s RoE, which was Clinton’s RoE, which was HW Bush’s RoE… Rationality prevails — thankfully!

    • Secundius

      Depends on the Composition of the Drone?/! Synthetic Composites are Virtually Invisible to Radar. And I doubt that an Engine That Small would even Register on a Radar, or a Computer trying to determine if the Object is a Bird…

  • kye154

    Navy denies that a U.S. destroyer was chased away from an Iranian drone! OK, let’s play the Navy’s game of re-engineering its public statements. Let’s just say instead: “The U.S. Navy destroyer took evasive action to get away from the drone”. Or, you could rightfully say: “The U.S. Navy destroyer was shadowing the Iranians, and got in the way, and made itself a target in the Iranian operations”.. Afterall, the U.S. Navy has recently gotten itself a bad reputation for poor navigation skills.

    • meanmarine

      Ones scared and the other ones glad.

    • nogard

      The obama cabal put the current incompetents who are running our ships into those positions. Trump must now weed obama’s politically correct incompetents out.

  • czervik

    Nothing a little CWiS couldn’t dispatch. The Iranians would certainly shoot down drones we had that close to their boats or planes. Why wouldn’t we?

  • incredulous1

    we should use EMP weapons on such harassment vehicles. It would be a waste of 20mm CWIS rounds to shoot it.

  • David Oldham

    Oh the drama, did Iranian drones “chase” away a US destroyer, man typical slow news day headline. Really amateurish and disrespectful based on the past and basically reality.

  • nogard

    obama systematically drove competent senior officers and enlisted out of the service so that he could appoint his politically correct cabal to those posts. Those incompetent obama appointees are now routinely running our ships into tankers on the open seas. He should be executed for that.

    • FourWarVet

      nogard, Thanks for insulting the most combat experienced generation of officers in the history of our nation. We have served over several administrations with honor, commitment, and courage, regardless of the resident at 1600 PA Ave.

      Your conspiracy theory conclusion is real only in your head, and would not stand up to any empirical evidence. For instance, last month’s Proceedings contained an excellent article by CAPT Kevin Eyer about the string of mishaps at sea. His research shows a series of policy and doctrinal decisions that span the last several administrations are the reason for the recent accidents. If you want to be taken seriously in this forum, you should do your homework.

      • Retired CO

        I would think that the WWII generation of officers got just a ‘wee’ bit more combat experience, but what do I know. I do know that the LCS showing flag combat tours are very stressful with high casuality rates. LOL

        • FourWarVet

          Retired CO, WW-II was certainly a high risk endeavor compared to the limited wars of the post Cold War era. My point is, many in today’s Navy served, or are serving, in country in multiple roles. In our Joint approach to operations in today’s force, tens of thousands of USN officers have done at least one year in Iraq, Afghanistan, or HOA. Naval Aviators, such as myself, have flown hundreds of thousands of combat sorties over one combat zone, or another, since Desert Storm… Iraq’s no fly zones, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Horn of Africa = 25 years of endless war. The low casualties are the result of superior weapons, and tactics, but mostly the skill of the crews. I do not think it is fair to diminish the accomplishments of those sailing or flying into harms way year, after year, after year.

      • nogard

        The competent, experienced vets are the very ones obama was working to remove at command levels in both the officer and enlisted ranks, so that he could appoint and promote his politically correct ones. As a Navy veteran, I find it hard to believe that you are a four war vet since you couldn’t even follow the logical reasoning and progression of my post. A captain who does not prepare his command even for competent operation sailing peaceful seas on a calm night would doom them to certain death due to complete incompetence and a complete lack of readiness in a sudden war. Color those FACTS any way you want to, but they are still the FACTS.

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    Sounds like the next big project is going to be a giant shotgun?

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Look, if a US Navy ship, or one among our allies, actually fired ordinance at an Iranian plane or drone and shot it down, the Iranians would tell us how their platforms ‘successfully intercepted American missiles”. Their IRANIANS. They aren’t much above what Lil Kim is all about in North Korea.

  • Duane-aka Sir Lockmart

    OMG OMG OMG, it’s high time we ‘surge’ the LCS fleet to the persian gap to take care of these major threats to the fleet. The LCS with it’s “anti-swarm” module can defeat the entire Iranian swarm menice without breaking a sweat (but give us a month to swapt out modules in Newport first, just tell the Iranian’s “time out”)