U.S. Central Command officials have charged an Iranian QOM-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with interfering in operations being conducted by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. An F/A-18E Super Hornet with Strike Fighter Squadron 147, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, “had an unsafe and unprofessional interaction with an Iranian QOM-1 UAV,” while operating in international airspace in the central Persian Gulf.
This is the 13th unsafe or unprofessional interaction between U.S. and Iranian maritime forces in 2017, the officials noted.
According to Centcom officials, “Despite repeated radio calls to stay clear of active fixed-wing flight operations in vicinity of the USS Nimitz, the QOM-1 executed unsafe and unprofessional altitude changes in the close vicinity of an F/A-18E that was in a holding pattern and preparing to land on the aircraft carrier.”
To avoid collision with the QOM-1, the F/A-18E had to manoeuvre, which led to a lateral separation between the two aircraft of only about 200 feet and a vertical separation of about 100 feet.