Manama: An Iranian navy patrol plane
buzzed a US aircraft carrier in international waters of the
Gulf of Oman last week but nothing came of the incident, a
senior US military officer said on Thursday.
On April 21, the eve of war games conducted by Iran`s
Revolutionary Guards in the Gulf and the strategic Strait of
Hormuz, the aircraft came as close as 915 metres to the USS
Eisenhower, the official said.
"An Iranian Navy F27 maritime patrol aircraft, flying
in international airspace, flew near USS Eisenhower ...
shortly after the aircraft carrier had finished routine
replenishment at sea operations in the Gulf of Oman," he told
agency, requesting anonymity.
He said the aircraft stayed at that distance for about
20 minutes, but pointed out that "all interaction with the
aircraft was routine and correct."
US Navy ships operating in the Gulf region "routinely
have Iranian maritime patrol aircraft fly by their positions
-- almost on a daily basis," he added.
But he said aircraft carriers do not normally interact
with Iranian aircraft because they operate in the northern
Arabian Sea, in support of operations in Afghanistan, which is
not reached by Iranian patrol flights.
"Iranian forces are aware of our presence in the
region just as we are aware of theirs. Our interaction with
the regular Iranian Navy and Air Force continues to be within
standards of maritime practise," he said.
The Eisenhower was deployed to the Middle East in
January. The US Navy`s Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain.