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Iran tries to ‘steal’ US sea drone — Analysis

US 5th Fleet shared video footage showing an Iranian ship trying to get high-tech equipment

According to the US Navy, an Iranian ship was stopped from taking control of an American Sea Drone operating in the Persian Gulf. The US deployed a patrol boat and attack helicopters as part of the effort. 

The Navy’s 5th Fleet issued a statement on the run-in on Tuesday, saying that an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) support ship, the Shahid Baziar, was spotted towing a US Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel “in an attempt to detain it”august 29. A fleet member shared footage purporting that it showed the Baziar driving the drone behind.

A US coastal patrol ship, the USS Thunderbolt, was in the area when the Iranian ship was seen and was dispatched “immediately”The Navy stated that a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter was used to respond. After four hours of delay, the IRGC vessel disengaged its towline from the drone. The incident was over.

“[The IRGC Navy’s] actions were flagrant, unwarranted and inconsistent with the behavior of a professional maritime force,”Brad Cooper, Vice Admiral of the 5th Fleet Commanding Officer. “US 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 Associated Press reached Commander Timothy Hawkins who claimed that Thunderbolt had attempted to call the Iranian ship with an announcement about the American drone. He did not specify whether or not the Iranians replied.

The Navy did not report the incident. “does not store sensitive or classified information,”However, it stated that the property is US government property. “sensors, radars and cameras for navigation and data collection.”

The Iranian government has not yet acknowledged the incident, which would mark the first time Tehran attempted to target the 5th Fleet’s drone task force, a new unit launched last year during a time of rising tensions with Iran.

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