US Navy Stops Iran from Swiping Drone Vessel

The U.S. Navy has reacquired one of its unmanned surface vessels after Iranian forces attempted to commandeer it.

Late on August 29, sailors from the U.S. 5th Fleet observed the IRGCN support ship Shahid Baziar towing a Saildrone Explorer USV, which is a component of the fleet’s network of both manned and unmanned vessels.

After four hours, the Iranian warship released the unmanned vessel early August 30 and left the area after the U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship Thunderbolt and MH-60S Sea Hawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 responded to the incident.

Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, said:

“IRGCN’s actions were flagrant, unwarranted and inconsistent with the behavior of a professional maritime force. U.S. naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting rules-based international order throughout the region.”

The drone is solar-powered, using sensors and cameras to navigate and collect data above, below and around it.

Iran’s official news outlet, Tasnim, reported that the drone was a danger to commercial shipping in the gulf but failed to furnish proof.

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