Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Iranian navy plane flies near USS Eisenhower in Gulf of Oman

An Iranian navy plane that approached a U.S. aircraft carrier last week was flying as low as 300 feet as it neared the USS Eisenhower, U.S. military officials said Wednesday.The incident, first reported by CNN on Tuesday, came as Iran was beginning a series of military exercises last week meant to show off their military prowess.The Eisenhower was on duty in the Gulf of Oman in the northern Arabian Sea, in support of the Afghanistan war efforts, when the Iranian maritime patrol aircraft flew within 1,000 yards of the vessel, according to military officials.While the encounter was not threatening, it was unusual.

U.S. navy ships have regularly encountered Iranian aircraft in the Persian Gulf in recent years, but this encounter took place in the Gulf of Oman, in an area where Iranian jets are seen much less frequently, several Navy officials said.The officials declined to be identified, citing the extremely sensitive nature of any U.S. military interaction with Iranian forces.The Iranian aircraft was a Fokker F27 that was unarmed, officials said. It remained in the vicinity of the Eisenhower for about 20 minutes before leaving the area, according to the senior official. The Eisenhower had just finished a series of carrier aircraft flight operations and a resupply at sea mission..............................link

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