[Ed. – This is a no-kidding unacceptable provocation. Using a drone this way can get the airman killed. It’s past time to just fry the Iranian drones like bacon. No exceptions.]
The aircraft, which belonged to Strike Fighter Squadron 147, was in a holding pattern while preparing to land aboard the carrier Nimitz, officials with U.S. Navy Central Command said.
The unarmed Iranian QOM-1 drone approached, coming within 100 feet vertically and 200 feet laterally of the aircraft, ignoring radio calls to stay clear of aircraft operations.
“The F/A-18E maneuvered to avoid collision with the QOM-1, resulting in a lateral separation of approximately 200 feet and a vertical separation of approximately 100 feet,” said Lt. Chloe Morgan, a NAVCENT spokeswoman, in a statement.
“The dangerous maneuver by the QOM-1 in the known vicinity of fixed-wing flight operations and at coincident altitude with operating aircraft created a collision hazard and is not in keeping with international maritime customs and laws,” she said.