An Iranian drone came within 100 feet (30 meters) of a United States fighter jet while it was landing an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, officials told media outlets on Tuesday.
This is the 13th unsafe or unprofessional interaction between USA and Iranian maritime forces in 2017, the officials noted.
"The F/A-18E maneuvered to avoid collision with the QOM-1 [Iranian drone] resulting in a lateral separation of approximately 200 feet and a vertical separation of approximately 100 feet", spokesperson Lt. Chloe J. Morgan said in a statement to CNBC.
A Central Command statement said the Iranian drone's "dangerous maneuver" created a "collision hazard" and was in violation of worldwide maritime laws. Both of those incidents were deemed unsafe and unprofessional, Navy officials said.
The drone eventually moved away from the scene in the Persian Gulf after the Navy made several emergency radio messages warning the operators to move it.
"The risky maneuver by the QOM-1 in the known vicinity of fixed wing flight operations ... created a collision hazard and is not in keeping with worldwide maritime customs and laws", the statement read.
In January 2016 an Iranian drone flew over the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and the USS Harry S. Truman, both of which were operating in global waters in the Gulf at the time. The drone did not appear to be armed.
Three days before the January 29 incident a U.S. Navy patrol ship fired warning shots at an Iranian ship that U.S. officials say got dangerously close.
Earlier, the USNS Invincible, escorted by the British Royal Navy, experienced a close encounter with high-speed attack ships deployed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, ultimately compelling the USA spy ship and her formation to alter her course. The officials said the Iranian boat approached and came within 150 yards of the USS Thunderbolt, a US Navy patrol ship.