Tactical

Iranian drone ‘took unsafe action’ near carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower

An Iranian air drone “took unsafe and unprofessional actions” near the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower as the ship operated in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, according to Naval Forces Central Command.

There were no injuries or damages reported.

The ship entered the Persian Gulf Sunday and was “conducting routine flight operations” in international waters when it detected the air drone, which the command said “was visually identified as Iranian.”

“Its closest point of approach to IKE was approximately 1,500 yards,” the command said in a statement Wednesday. “Multiple hails and warnings were ignored by Iran.”

The Iranian action violated safety precautions directing all drones to stay farther than 10 nautical miles away from the carrier, according to NAVCENT.

“This unsafe, unprofessional, and irresponsible behavior by Iran risks U.S. and partner nation lives and needs to cease immediately,” the command said. “U.S. naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting regional maritime security.”

Ike’s encounter comes as the Navy destroyer Carney shot down another Yemen-based drone in the southern Red Sea on Wednesday after the ship deemed the drone to be a threat, a defense official told The Associated Press.

Carney shot down a barrage of missiles and drones last month as well in the Red Sea.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a military operation not yet made public.

Earlier this month, another Navy destroyer, the USS Thomas Hudner, shot down a drone that was heading toward the ship as it sailed in the southern Red Sea. It also was near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and it shot down the drone over the water.

The Red Sea, stretching from Egypt’s Suez Canal to the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait separating the Arabian Peninsula from Africa, is a key trade route for global shipping and energy supplies. The U.S. Navy has stationed multiple ships in the sea since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7, which has heightened tensions in the region.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at [email protected].

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