The drone came within 100 feet below the aircraft and 200 feet to the side of the aircraft.
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"The risky maneuver by the QOM-1.created a collision hazard and is not in keeping with global maritime customs and laws", the statement read, identifying the drone as an Iranian QOM-1 model, an unarmed UAV. It did eventually move off.
One unnamed defense official told Fox News that it was the first time an Iranian drone has "interrupted a flight pattern". This created a collision hazard and "is not in keeping with global maritime customs and laws", according to the Navy. Officials, cited by CNN, described the UAV's movements as unsafe.
A statement released by the military's Central Command said that despite repeated radio calls demanding that Iran keep the drone clear of American flight operations in the vicinity of the aircraft carrier Nimitz, the Iranian vehicle came within 100 feet of the fighter jet, which had to swerve to avoid a collision.
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However, it took multiple warning shots to turn the approaching Iranian vessel away from the U.S. Naval ship.
The Persian Gulf is often the site of run-ins between US and Iranian aircraft and ships.
The Navy official also indicated this incident marked "the 13th unsafe and/or unprofessional interaction between US and Iranian maritime forces" so far this year.
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