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Iranian ship tried to capture unmanned drone, Navy says

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The U.S. Navy prevented a support ship, the Shahid Baziar, belonging to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN), from capturing an unmanned surface vessel (USV) operated by the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Arabian Gulf on August 29-30, 2022. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy
The U.S. Navy prevented a support ship, the Shahid Baziar, belonging to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN), from capturing an unmanned surface vessel (USV) operated by the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Arabian Gulf on August 29-30, 2022. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy | License Photo

Aug. 30 (UPI) -- An attempt by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy to capture an unmanned drone was foiled by the U.S. Navy, according to a statement.

The U.S. 5th Fleet said that it observed the Shaid Bazar, an IRGCN support ship, trying to capture a Saildrone Explore unmanned surface vessel Monday night.

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U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt immediately responded along with an MH-60A Sea Hawk and the Iranian ship disconnected the towing line and left the area.

The Saildrone Explorer did not store classified information, although it was equipped with sensors, radars and cameras for navigation and data collection, the 5th Fleet said.

"IRGCN's actions were flagrant, unwarranted and inconsistent with the behavior of a professional maritime force," said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. "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 statement comes a day after U.S. officials said that Iran had sent the first shipment of drones to Russia, for use in its war against Ukraine.

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According to the Washington Post, transport planes left Iran on Aug. 19, carrying two types of unmanned aerial vehicles.

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