By Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command , 5th Fleet Public Affairs
| August 08, 2017
Stock Photo: An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the "Argonauts" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 launches from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The ship is underway conducting a composite training unit exercise with its carrier strike group in preparation for an upcoming deployment. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ian Kinkead)
While operating in international airspace in the Central Arabian Gulf, an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Argonauts" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) had an unsafe and unprofessional interaction with an Iranian QOM-1 unmanned aerial vehicle Aug. 8.
Despite repeated radio calls to stay clear of active fixed-wing flight operations in vicinity of USS Nimitz, the QOM-1 executed unsafe and unprofessional altitude changes in the close vicinity of an F/A-18E in a holding pattern preparing to land on the aircraft carrier. 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. 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.
This is the 13th unsafe and/or unprofessional interaction between U.S. and Iranian maritime forces in 2017.