Iran F-4 confronts another U.S. Predator over Arabian Gulf

An Iranian fighter jet again played chicken Tuesday with a U.S. drone flying over international waters in the Arabian Gulf near Iran.

This time an Iranian F-4 flew within 16 miles of an unarmed MQ-1 Predator before two U.S. military aircraft escorted the Predator and the F-4 darted away. The Pentagon did not say what type of aircraft escorted the Predator.

In November, an Iranian fighter jet fired up on an unarmed Predator, but missed. On Tuesday, there is no report that the F-4 fired upon the Predator.

The initial report from the Pentagon stated that one of the U.S. aircraft fired a warning flare before the F-4 ended its pursuit. However, Pentagon officials later said a flare was not fired. Below is the read out the Pentagon issued to announce the confrontation:

On March 12, an unarmed, unmanned, MQ-1 U.S. military aircraft conducting a routine classified surveillance flight over international waters in the Arabian Gulf was approached by an Iranian F-4 aircraft. The closest point of approach between these aircraft was approximately 16 miles.

The MQ-1 was escorted by two U.S. military aircraft. All U.S. aircraft remained over international waters at all times.

Following the incident last November where an Iranian fighter aircraft fired upon an unarmed, unmanned MQ-1, the United States communicated to the Iranians that we will continue to conduct surveillance flights over international waters consistent with long-standing practice and our commitment to the security of the region. We also communicated that we reserve the right to protect our military assets as well as our forces and will continue to do so going forward.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • Duke

    F-22s I believe. The F4 pilots must’ve crapped their pants.

    • D.W.

      “Radar indicates the target is undefend… oh, wait. Oh. Oh dear.”

      • shawn1999

        Achmed, I need new pants when I get back….

        • JamalTheBanker

          Shameer, this is Achmed. We dont have any more pants for you. we’ll ask Kim Jong Un if you can borrow some of theirs although they may be a bit soiled as well…

    • Lance

      I dont think there F-22 but Navy F-18s

    • blight_

      Thought none of the F-22’s were stationed in the Mideast at the moment.

      • tig

        False, we have several in Saudi.

        • blight_

          The last news from 2012 suggested they were in UAE.

          • Praetorian

            Six F-22’s from the 7th fighter squadron returned to Holloman AFB on January 27th fron UAE. This was the longest F-22 deployment to date. The deployment was only going to be three to four months, but was extented several times.

          • blight_

            Then ironically I was right 4 days ago?

            “Thought none of the F-22’s were stationed in the Mideast at the moment.”

    • cdownz

      Are you being serious or what? It would be amazing if this was true.

      • Duke

        Yes, seriously, there is a detachment in Al Dhafra, UAE (circa 200 nm from Iran) as mentioned by blight. Presumably to “kick down the door” in the event of hostilities. It’s about time they got to see some action.

    • Restore Palestine

      Duke, you obviously don’t know anything about your own military. The US military is known for three things in real combat: (1) their cowardice, (2) slavish worship of and reliance on sophisticated weaponry, and (3) consistent defeat or losses to opponents with inferior weaponry.

      Don’t mistake Hollywood movies for reality.

      • ben

        Defeat when outnumbered 50 to 1 and under orders to hold their fire until fired upon even while the opponent surrounds them… Oh wait, they still tend complete their mission objectives even then making those Pyrrhic victories at worst. (First battle of Mogadishu for example)

        No the US military is currently best known for curb-stomping anyone brave/stupid enough to pick a fight with the world’s 3rd largest country. Then being ordered to stand around playing policeman, while the politicians in charge throw feces at each other, and the local criminal element starts murdering people they don’t like in the name of freedom.

        If they were really cowards, then why bother being nice. if there is a resource the US needs, just set up a DMZ around it and shoot trespassers. If a city is a haven for pirates or hostile militia, carpet bomb the place to rubble and salt the earth.

      • Duke

        The US took Baghdad in about a week, whereas Iran was stalemated by Iraq for the better part of a decade.

        • Restore Palestine

          That shows just how little you know about the real facts of the wars.

          • STemplar

            Oh and out of curiosity what precisely are you looking to “restore Palestine” too anyway? British/French occupation? Ottoman Empire? Roman Empire? Certainly not the kingdom of David I’m sure. The Pharaohs?

          • shawn1999

            While he’s at it, maybe he can work to Restore Iran to the Persians that the Muslims murdered…..

          • blight_

            What real facts are there?

            Iraq was propped up by support from Europe and the United States, Iran was a pariah state that the rug yanked out under their semi-modernized military.

            Fast forward twenty years later, Iraq is no longer propped up by anyone, had been shredded once and was being barely held together with violence. Hitting the snake with a flip-flop instead of cutting off its head was a bad idea, but it was easy enough to do with a modern army.

          • Duke

            I forgot to mention, the US forces moved halfway across the globe to defeat Iraq in less than a fortnight. Iran (I’m guessing you’re Iranian) is right next door to Iraq and couldn’t accomplish shit for a decade. Why do you think Iran will fare any better than Iraq against the US? Because the Persians were a power 5000 years ago? Well, you ain’t shit now.

          • Restore Palestine

            Well, what is the US waiting for then. Just send over the carrier battle groups and start another illegal invasion.

          • STemplar

            I would op for a robust several week air campaign myself. Just bombing the nuke sites is pointless and honestly with some in operation would be an environmental boo boo imo. Probably an air mobile/airborne op would be better for that.

            In any event I would say several weeks to destroy the Iranian air force, sink the navy, savage all the Revolutionary Guard cantonments, hit the intelligence facilities, definitely as many locations of the religious leadership as possible, and generally just destroy the regime from the air.

          • Restore Palestine

            keep BS’ing.

          • skmall

            The US will eventually. Don’t worry about that. And the day that a US sniper picks off you, the world will be have a burden taken off.

      • Gunner777

        How about you go to the middle east with your friends and stay out of here!

      • Infidel4LIFE

        When is the last time an arab army won anything? Iran don’t count, since human wave attacks went out in the 50’s..now you ppl are at war with ur own, sunni and shia. I guess one will win perhaps? OR just bleed each other white. Happy trails hadji..

      • Veng

        LOL. No wonder with a name like “Restore Palestine.” How many Farfour cartoons did you watch as a child?

    • B wiggins

      Hard to believe that they were F22’s; where would they have come from ? The F22 is a “land based aircraft”.

    • lemoutonzelectrique

      I doubt it. You want to make them crap as soon as you show on their obsolete radars incoming fast. Saves fuel on top of everything and doesn’t jeopardize costly assets. It’s a no brainer they were Super-Hornets if they ever flew out of a carrier also in int’l waters.

      You’ll want to keep the 22s for the real deal.

  • Jeff M

    Iran is looking more and more like Iraq circa 1990.

  • DGR

    Somedays I think my job is getting more and more difficult, but then I am reminded that some poor smuck over in Iran has to find parts for the F-4 and F-14s. Talk about the worlds most difficult job, id love to see how many systems on these birds still work.

    • Restore Palestine

      Why would Iran give a damn about the obsolete F-4 and F-14s when they can buy better jets from Russia or China? Besides, Iran has already acquired enough expertise to build their own jets. You should spend your time worrying about the F-15s back home. They are falling apart fast.

      • Mike

        You mean that amazing 5th Gen fighter they showed off last month? The fake one? Yep, I’m sure that’s a real threat…

      • DCNY81

        Because they can’t afford the Russian or Chinese owned aircraft. They have a slew of F-4’s and F-14’s that they purchased from the U.S. decades ago just sitting / decomposing in the desert. If they could afford “new” Russian airplanes, they wouldn’t have to worry about their F-4 Phantoms’ literally falling apart in mid-air during an air-to-air refueling.

        • Restore Palestine

          What do you mean Iran can’t afford Russian and Chinese jets. Iran is a major oil producer. If there is a barrier, it’s UN sanctions and arms embargo. But there are ways to get around it.

          • shawn1999

            If Iran is such a big oil producer, why can’t it feed its people?

          • shawn1999

            Answer: Because their corrupt Elite keeps all the money for themselves (just like their close friends in North Korea)

          • Restore Palestine

            Talking to yourself? HaHa. You must have been playing your own psychiatrist, you ranting schizo.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Well, Monsieur Restore Palestine, shawn1999 has an excellent point. If you can’t feed your people, then you are done. That is it. Iran is slightly better off then NK, but one par when it comes it military. No, lower, cause at least NK can make a nuke and missile, though low quality.

          • Restore Palestine

            Because your parents aren’t feeding you well, and you are suffering from malnutrition, as well as schizophrenic hallucinations.

            Take your pills on times and stop eating rubbish American junk food, and you will see that Iranians eat better than Americans.

          • Infidel4LIFE

            The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.

          • Restore Palestine

            What does it mean, infidel?

          • UAVGeek

            It’s a movie reference. Educate yourself.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Are you doctor? If you are, then go back to “helping people.” Attempting to asses someone’s medical needs through a debate about Iran’s military might is hardly correct medical practice. At least, according to the New England Journal of medicine.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            *Assess

      • USS ENTERPRISE

        Ah yes, the F-15s with a larger air to air victory than the Iranian Air-Force. One breaks apart, and seems like the whole fleets useless. Its funny how Iranians, who lose aircraft to F-15s, like to think and pretend their air force can take the US. Oh, and you forgot the F-22s that are ready to kick in the door. The F-15s follow up and take out the door frame.

        • Restore Palestine

          The F-22 is more like an expensive piece of Junk, Joke, Just-for-show Jack. That’s why even the far less expensive Eurofighter can take on it and win.

          • STemplar

            Far less expensive? Eurofighters are up above $100 million flyaway, F22 was 160ish, hardly far more expensive, and a fully coded F22 is far more useful than a Eurofighter. Pound for pound when you factor in the stealth factor and overwhelmingly better strike option in a F22, it is without a doubt financially a vastly better buy than a Eurofighter.

          • Restore Palestine

            F22 was 160ish? What nice potent stuff have you been smoking. Take a break and a shower, would ya.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Well each aircraft was. I don’t see how you can challenge a fact given out by the actual manufacturer of the aircraft, Lockheed Martin. You are probably applying your anti-American brain into thinking of the development cost, which was expensive. But the end result is a plane that will take down anything that you can possibly conjure up, that is, of course, real, cough *Qaher 313* cough.

          • Restore Palestine

            Well, I guess you have been smoking the same nice potent stuff.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            The fact that you say, “Well, I guess you have been smoking the same nice potent stuff” informs me that you are attempting to use personal remarks and insults to get a point across. Well it isn’t going to help you. Try using some facts to debate, not worthless insults.

          • Restore Palestine

            The Russian Flankers have been wide-recognized to be superior to the F-15s.

            I don’t expect most Americans to admit it. I believe those in the US air force and the Pentagon know full well for over 2 decades that the F-15 is no match for the modern Flankers with comparable pilots.

            It would be a waste of time to debate F-22 vs Flanker as the F-22 is not a ready, mature, flyable platform given its numerous problems.

          • Mister Rose

            “With comparable pilots”

            Key point there. How much training time do the Iranians get to fly each year?

          • shawn1999

            Well, they DO make nice Hari Kari planes….saves on fuel, ammunition and GDP (more citizens you stick in one and throw at Americans, the fewer citizens you have to feed). That’s probably the biggest reason the 313 will fail- its photoshopped so it won’t blow up easily

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Exactly. Just below, take a look. Pilot training warfare going on.

          • Restore Palestine

            One more thing, the Indian Air Force is not known for top pilots, or even good maintenance of aircraft for that matter; nor is the US.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            May I ask, who is? Is it the Palestinians?

          • Restore Palestine

            Why would that be relevant? All you need to know is that USAF pilots are by and large second rate.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Well than who would be first rate? Russians? No. Canadians use F-18s, as do the Australians, so, just by their equipment, they must be terrible, if your idea that American equipment is terrible. Europeans? Well, the have to be second rate as they often show up with the USAF at Red Flag. According to your completely extravagant and correct knowledge, India is just full of elephants and terrible pilots and mechanics. China? Eh, no. Japan trains with USAF. Same with SK. NK pilots live off of grass. In the middle east, Israel, alright, but uses F-15s. Egypt, which is a military power in the Middle East, operates the inferior (supposedly) F-16s. Saudis used the F-15. And that cover many of the major, talked about air forces. Please then, tell me, WHO would be first rate?

          • Restore Palestine

            I don’t remember ever hearing a US pilot in F-15 winning a single match up against a Russian pilot in Su-27 or its derivatives.

            I do remember hearing about US pilots getting downed in combat exercises by pilots from Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Chile, India, Australia, Brazil …

            But then, you are just an amateur fan boy infatuated with specs of jets in brochures. Why would you care about any of that.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Firstly, I don’t happen to own any brochures about these aircraft. I have books. Written by highly intelligent people. Now, I never claimed a 15 ever shot down a 27. A MiG-29, yes the F-15 took those down. But not a SU-27. The fact is that the SU-27 is using outdated equipment. And its pilots aren’t as well trained. Those two limiting factors put the plane behind the F-15 in BVR combat. In dogfights, the Flanker does, most likely, hold an edge. Not, of course, with the Cobra Maneuver. But like I said. Radar contact comes first. Then the shooting. Then the fly by. Then the dogfight. If you die in the first shoot out, then you are out.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            And the relevance is simple. If the most largest, most invested on air force in the world, the one that has operated legendary aircraft, is no first rate, then it does arise the question WHO IS?

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            *Edit- grammatically, it would simply be largest, not most largest.

          • STemplar

            Flyaway cost was about that.

            RoleStealth air superiority fighter
            National originUnited States
            ManufacturerLockheed Martin Aeronautics
            Boeing Defense, Space & Security
            First flight7 September 1997[1]
            Introduction15 December 2005
            StatusIn service
            Primary userUnited States Air Force
            ProducedF-22: 1996–2011[2]
            Number built195 (eight test and 187 operational) aircraft[2]
            Program costUS$66.7 billion[3]
            Unit costUS$150 million (flyaway cost for FY2009)[4]
            Developed fromLockheed YF-22
            Developed intoLockheed Martin X-44 MANTA
            Lockheed Martin FB-22

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Ah yes. UNIT COST: 150 Million USD. Point proven. Match point.

          • Restore Palestine

            delusional

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Proof?

          • Restore Palestine

            make it an exercise for you.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Eh? What?

          • Jo the Nipper

            So, please enlighten us to the truth about the F22 costs.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Ah yes. So lets do what? Buy the Qaher 313 flying what-its? And, since you are in such a support for Russian aircraft, let me ask, do Russian aircraft happen do the pretty much useless Cobra maneuver? As for the Eurofighter, not so cutting edge anymore. Rather take an F-15E or better and F-15SE out. No denying, it is a good plane. Do bad Iran doesn’t have it.

          • Restore Palestine

            I’ll repeat. The F-22 is an expensive piece of junk. Same for the F-35. Better believe it.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Better believe it. A line from Bill Cosby. An american. Just pointing that bit out. Well if the F-22 is an expensive piece of junk, than, Herr Restore Palestine, do you suggest is good? PAK FA, just no. J-20, made in China. Any contenders. Also, the F-35, I agree, is a money pool that isn’t needed. But once again, competitors?

          • Restore Palestine

            The Cobra maneuver is a precious life-saving move that allows the Flanker pilot to fire at an enemy aircraft pursuing in the back and above.

            You are an amateur in air combat.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Okay. WHEN have you seen that maneuver used successfully in combat? And the video game Ace Combat 7 doesn’t count. Precious life-saving? Says the person who also claims Americans are cowards because we aren’t suicide bombers. Also, back on that maneuver, let me ask, after pulling the nose up so violently, can a pilot actually aim his missile at a plane above him? And at the range this maneuver is used, missiles would barely have time to arm and engage.

          • Restore Palestine

            Okay, WHEN has the US dared to engage a Russian Flanker with its so-called “best fighter in the world” the F-15?

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Cope India. “Cope” with that. We took on the best of India. True, they supposedly held well. But that was with the F-15 not allowed to use long range missiles. Otherwise, other mock battles with the Flanker have ended with a 15 victory. Oh, and don’t forget the pilot. THE most important bit of a plane. And frankly, USAF pilots top out any Palestine pilots.

          • Restore Palestine

            Man, the amount of false information in your head is simply staggering.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            As is yours. In fact, more so. Now that I think more, I notice that you think that we say that the F-15 is the best fighter in the world. That title has long since been passed to the F-22. The F-15 is the most effective fighter. 104.5 victories. Argue with that and well you are just flat out lying. Which you have been doing.

          • Restore Palestine

            The Russian Flankers have been wide-recognized to be superior to the F-15s.

            I don’t expect most Americans to admit it. I believe those in the US air force and the Pentagon know full well for over 2 decades that the F-15 is no match for the modern Flankers with comparable pilots.

            It would be a waste of time to debate F-22 vs Flanker as the F-22 is not a ready, mature, flyable platform given its numerous problems.

            One more thing, the Indian Air Force is not known for top pilots, or even good maintenance of aircraft for that matter; nor is the US

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            And who is? Also, I think you are forgetting that little 104.5 victory bit. Since you, dear sir, are so clearly smart and better than any American, tell me, what is the Flanker’s kill ratio? Does the Flanker’s radar compare to the new AESA radar that is fitted on the F-15? Also, F-22. Not a mature flying platform. So if we were to fly over any country in anger, the F-22 would be ignored? And, comparable pilots? We aren’t talking about the Russian pilots who aren’t as good as you are suggesting. We are talking about who? Iranian pilots. Who are currently flying American aircraft like the F-14 and F-4. Now, Restore Palestine Sahib, please cordially tell me, how can you possibly win?

          • Restore Palestine

            See, you are flying the F-22 anywhere. It’s been grounded and will stay grounded.

            The Flankers have been flown against the F-15 for a long time, since the 1990s.

            Informed F-15 vs Flanker enthusiasts have long ceased arguing about it. You are still trying to argue about it with false information and irrelevant or immaterial parameters.

            Since you are not going to believe me anyway, why not go ask some experienced US pilots.

            The Flankers have consistently beaten the F-15s in mock combats. I would love to see a real dog fight between the two but I doubt that the US can afford to let that happen.

            I know you don’t like it, but the Flankers are superior to the F-15s. End of story.

          • Restore Palestine

            Meant to say “you are NOT flying the F-22 anywhere”

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Ah, in dogfighting, perhaps. But pretty much all dogfights between 4th generation fighters start with a radar lock, not a dogfight. The F-15, supported with the usual plethora of AWACS aircraft, can spot the massive radar signature of a Flanker. The F-15 does have a massive signature on its own. But it can detect and lock on a Flanker quicker then the Flanker. It can then engage the target more accurately and more quickly. And there you go. Oh, and chuck in pilot training. WHERE in Palestine do you see anything like, say Operation Red Flag? USAF pilots are among the best, if not the best. Iranian pilots are good. They can keep up their scrap heap F-4 in the air.

          • Restore Palestine

            HaHa. Are you reading this off the sales brochure of F-15s? It’s getting really old. I have seen similar clueless babblings from naive, misinformed amateurs thousands of times.

            USAF pilots are second-rate at best. You can tell by the fact that they couldn’t even beat Indian pilots, who are by and large are second or third rate in the world.

          • Benjamin

            The entire argument is a moot point because Iran does not have any Su-27’s. The best plane they have is the F-14 and since we built it and flew it, we know many of its vulnerbilities better then the Iranians.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Thank you. Some sense.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            And the F-15 doesn’t need a sales brochure. The unavoidable fact that you haven’t argued about is the 104.5 victories to zero air to air losses. Oh, and USAF pilots will beat the crap out of any Iranian pilot. The only relatively good pilots in the Middle Eastern Theater would be the Israelis, who, by the way, fly the F-15.

          • shawn1999

            Amateur? LOL – the Cobra maneuver makes the Flanker a GREAT BIG target to anyone behind. And no one would pursue an aircraft from above. Talk about an amateur.

          • Paul

            What would BlackOWL18 Do when presented with a cobra?
            I think I’ll hit the throttle and turn around pounce on Ivan with guns as its trying to regain speed/alt. Would that work BlackOWL? LOL

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Yeah. The Cobra basically pulls a plane from the relative small surface area for missiles to lock onto, to the massive surface area of the top of the aircraft. If anything, a Cobra could result in a mid-air collision. And that would be bad. In a Flanker. Remember, the F-15 did lose a main wing, and landed. Safely. With a supposedly low Israeli pilot at the control.

          • Infidel4LIFE

            You are clearly delusional and need to be put down like a sick animal. You are a jackass to boot.

          • Jo the Nipper

            Well, the Qaher 313 is indefinitely cheaper then either the F22 or the Eurofighter Typhoon. All it takes to make it fly is Adobe Photoshop – without any add ons :)

      • shawn1999

        Photoshopping a “stealth” aircraft does not count as being able to build their own. If Iran is so capable, why are they still flying the F4? Why haven’t they obtained the more advanced fighters from their good friends? Answer: Because their good friends are just as afraid of the crazy shit Iran is pulling as the US. Iran is the villain, even Russia and China know it.

  • Mark Pyruz

    First of all, the previous incident involved an attack jet (Su-25), not a fighter jet. Second, the IRIAF employs U.S. trained fighter tactics. It isn’t likely they’d send a single F-4 as an interceptor.

    My guess is the Iranian Phantom was either an RF-4E involved in a similar mission as MQ-1, or it was an F-4E “Bushehr Sharks” on a training mission.

    Really the “news” in this encounter is that MQ-1 missions in the Persian Gulf are now employing fighter escorts.

    • Musson

      The Iranians are probably trying to intercept the signals coming and going from the Drone. Most likely they are hoping to capture another one intact – by sending the aircraft false instructions.

    • Atomic Walrus

      The Iranians probably don’t have any active US-trained pilots by now. The revolution was in 1979. Even an 18-year-old kid then would be 52 by now – kind of over the hill for a fighter pilot. In the meantime, they’ve been cut off from 35 years of advancement in the art of air warfare. The Iran-Iraq war was a bit of a weird cul-de-sac with little relevance to how the US plays the game today.

      • Tiger
        • Atomic Walrus

          Going to Farnborough will teach you about as much about the practice of air warfare as going to your local Porsche dealer will teach you about driving Formula 1.

          • Tiger
    • Duke

      “Really the “news” in this encounter is that MQ-1 missions in the Persian Gulf are now employing fighter escorts.”

      Not sure how you arrived at that conclusion from one murky report. Maybe the US is terrified of that idiotic fake stealth plane Iran unveiled a few weeks back. Take your bullshit back to irandefence, Pyruz.

  • Xhummerusn

    Wait. if every drone flight required two escort aircraft, meaning two or more human onboard, how has this helped take lives out of danger by using drones. Now we have three aircraft (and probably more, including an AWACS) on a mission that could maybe could have been conducted by one aircraft with sensors?

    • ben

      A single pair of f-18s on CAP can guard dozens of UAVs at once. It’s not like UAV missions are particularly high priority.

      • shawn1999

        before two U.S. military aircraft escorted the Predator

        I took this statement to mean that the Escort arrived in the AOE following the F-4’s arrival. May have misread, or as someone mentioned, they may have been on station providing over-watch for a series of drones.

  • Lance

    No match a F-4 could easily shoot down a drone no questions asked. The pilot didn’t have the clearance to raddled the sabre against us this time.

    • Benjamin

      Not as sure that it is as easy as you think it is to shoot down a drone with an F-4. The F-4’s radar is no where as nearly as capable as an F-15’s (non-AESA) let alone one equipped with an AESA.
      Also Iran’s AAM’s are far older and of a more limited design. The F-4’s slowest speed is also a lot faster then a drone’s. THis will make forcing an overshoot a lot easier. I really think it would be a lot easier to shoot a drone down with an Su-25, rather then an F-4.

  • Jaysun121

    X,
    First off the fighters were probably flying CAP nearby, second the MQ-1 can stay on mission for 3x the time of a human opperator.

  • sandy

    Maybe the drone is bait… hoping Iran will start something.

  • Lance

    It was an unarmed MQ-1 meaning it has no weapons to defend itself so it’s going to have an escort…

    • Ryan

      I think his point was, what the hell is the purpose of using a drone if you have manned aircraft with it. Does it really have a better sensor suite than the F-18s or whatever was with it?

  • dubweiser101

    Yea the unarmed drone might have been shitting its pants, but not as much as the Iranian F-4 pilot was when he saw armed USN or USAF fighters which explains why he turned tail and ran for Persia…

  • Pogmusic

    Yes, F-22s are there. My son is a crew chief on one.

    • hirbod

      yes…and my girlfriend is one of their pilots….but actually she is a bitch…

    • Ronin17

      Oh crap now they know the reaction time of the 22’s and they prefer to lure one of these near their waters.

    • SICKOFTARDS

      OPSEC INFO POGMUSIC. TELL THE WHOLE WORLD WHERE WE HAVE OUR CAPABILITIES

      • STemplar

        The USAF publishes deployments for goodness sake, calm down.

  • Marcellus Hambrick

    They were F-18 C’s.

    • http://twitter.com/MikeNiner5 @MikeNiner5

      which are still 2x the aircraft of an antique F-4

  • AAK

    The Iranian propaganda dept is laughable, but there’s some serious talent in the Air Force to keep those F4s flying after all these years.

    • Guest

      How hard is it to maintain an aircraft that flies maybe 100 hours per decade?

  • Lamel80

    I think if it were F-18’s, the media might have reported it. F-22’s do have a rotation in the region. Iran has already expressed their resentment toward the F22 being so close. This can be Google but I know this to be true… While it is possible for F-18 and usually more likely being over water, I think the pentagon would have said so up front. My guess, F-22.

  • Marcellus Hambrick

    They were F-18C’s.

  • T Guest

    ……and soon will we engage F-16’s recently transferred?

  • STemplar

    FYI to all those getting their skirts in an uproar about the author using the name Arabian Gulf in place of Persian. I’d be willing to bet its partly to poke you all with a stick to force a response. It’s probably part to demonstrate what an infantile mentality you are and to illicit exactly the kind of responses you are all posting. To sort of once again demonstrate for you tools who precisely is “dumbest and easily manipulated”

  • naeim

    the only reason why the author is using ARAB GULF is because the author rides the zionist train all the way…

    • blight_

      The Zionist train isn’t necessarily anti-Iranian or pro-Arab.

      Israel gave Iran hawk missiles as part of Iran contra. Iran did not participate in the 1949 war.

      Anti-Semitism is part and parcel of the Abrahamaic faiths, and Iran is not an exception. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Jews

      • shawn1999

        What an odd coincidence!! Iran isn’t Persian either!! They just murdered those who were Persians until they agreed to change their whole culture and faith to that of the Muslims that tortured them.

    • Papi1960R

      Zionist Train? A train made by Israeli Jews would be a exceptional machine. Excellent design, engineering, quality of workmanship. They could export it all around the world except Islamic countries, as the conditin of the rail systems have deterioated since their colonial masters left.

      • blight_

        But they are proud of the Iranian train, based on trains imported during the days of the Shah, reverse-engineered and improved from the 1980’s standard. God is Great!

        I suppose its better than the Saudi trains simply bought from the US and which cannot be made locally. Though maybe Turkish trains are as good as the Zionist train you speak of.

  • naeim

    MIKE HOFFMAN….
    nice!

    • Restore Palestine

      An unusually high percentage of US politicians, Wall Street CEOs / BODs, influential lawyers, state/federal judges are Jews.

      • blight_

        Depending on how accurate wikipedia is…
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jewish_Ameri

        (Off-topic: As it turns out, we could probably use a combination of mtDNA and y-chromosome haplotype markers to determine if people had an origin in the Holy Land. It would be difficult to tell a Palestinian from a Jew using this, but it would work in cases like determining an Ashekenazi from local populations. Sadly, I hope racists never learn how to do genetic sequencing, or enter a position of power to use molecular biology to do evil things).

        11 Jewish Senators. ~1% of the population.

        22 representatives from 435. 43=10%, 4=1%. Yeah, also highly represented.

        Three Jews on the supreme court.

        I don’t feel like checking state, federal and appeals court just yet.

        As a racial minority myself, I’m waiting for my group to appear more prominently. Chu’s appointment to SecEnergy is probably the highest we will go…for now.

      • STemplar

        Probably because outside of Israel the US has the highest number of jews. Mostly because they fled mad men and monsters to the only place they’re really safe.

        • shawn1999

          RaPe,
          You say that likes its a bad thing. I don’t think it is. Jews help found America. Also, to state that American believe all the crap they are fed by media outlets and politicians is to prove yourself uneducated. American s know politicians (and lawyers for that matter. And Muslims too….) are full of crap (why else would we have the highest number of anti-politician and anti-lawyer jokes?). The key though is, we KNOW this to be true. You are so busy with your two lips up the Ayatollah’s anus you can’t tell what color the sky really is. We KNOW thy are full of crap- but that within 4 years, we have a chance to change the crap that’s stinking the place up. Hell, we’ve known this since before we were a country! But the catch is, we also know its the BEST available at this time, and we are ALWAYS working to make it better, rather than letter some greedy “religious” piece of crap do all the dictating, who is more than happy letting all your fools die in his name while he hides in the back (talk about cowards).

          Question: If suicide bombers are so courageous, and Americans are too cowardly to set the bomb and blow themselves up but even still are brave enough to fight for their own ideals, then what do you call the Ayatollahs who neither fight nor blow themselves up? What word do you have for these? Crap? Why you listening to and following crap? What’s that make you?

  • hirbod

    i don’t know anywhere named arabian gulf….is it near iran? but one problem…why isn’t on the map?

    • jamgeadon

      The Arabian gulf isn’t on the map because it is part of the Arabian sea which is on the map.

      • Dov

        In other words, there is no “Arabian Gulf”. It’s a made up name.

  • Kim

    The ‘Arabian’ Gulf? Schurely must’ve been schome mischtake….

  • tiger

    Kinda nice to see the Phantom still smoking the skies. One of the great designs of all time.

    • http://wp1331.wordpress.com/ warspony

      Once held the “publicly known” speed record – a beautiful bird with great lines. But, I would trade her in on a F-22 in a heartbeat.

  • sandy

    call it the gulf of useless Iranians for all I care

    • Restore Palestine

      Why the crass hostility toward the Iranians? What have they done to you?

      • USS ENTERPRISE

        Nuclear Program.

        • Restore Palestine

          Iran has every right to develop its nuclear program.

          • Jo the Nipper

            Yes, within the stipulations of the NPT. As it constantly breaks these the “crass hostilities”

  • STemplar

    Beyond this name of the gulf silliness I hope these drone flights are gathering appropriate data for the ‘all options on the table’ option.

    I was interested in the recent interview with Obama where he sort of put a time frame on the Iranian nuke program by saying they were about a year off from one, even if he did leave himself some wiggle room by qualifying that with a comment about whether they have made the decision to proceed and build one. It was still interesting in that he used a specific time frame.

    Of course that kind of just bounced off the main stream media bobble heads that they are and there was no real follow up discussion. Given that time frame and the recent issues with the Norks I think the time of not doing anything has passed for the Obama administration. Their plate is going to be very full over the next year I would imagine.

    • http://twitter.com/MikeNiner5 @MikeNiner5

      we’ve been hearing politicos say, “about a year out”….”about 6 months out”….”about 3 years out”….for the last ten years

      • STemplar

        Not this POTUS. Obama is mister hedge his bets and say noting while talking alot. We’ve had an endless stream of ‘all options on the table’ ‘time has not run out’ ‘we prefer diplomacy’. Nothing remotely like what he said in that interview.

    • tiger

      Kicking the can down the road has been his whole foreign policy since day one.

      • STemplar

        Exactly my point, kind of sort of putting a time frame on it has clearly not been his style at all.

  • Greg

    Back in the day I remember reading reports from Navy Tomcat instructor pilots training Iranian pilots at Miramar after Iran bought a bunch of them. They said the Iranian pilots were very professional and picked up flying the Tomcat as quickly as their American counterparts. I never read anything negative about the Iranian pilots while they were at Miramar NAS.

  • favr burrows

    shoot down one then let them how easly we can do so without any problems

  • horndan

    well you don’t see the big picture, if you can take and Vietnam era air craft and get that close, it just the beging to the end of the Drones

    • blight_

      Rather lose a drone than another EP-3. Or a dozen surveillance aircraft during the Cold War.

  • Daniel Thaler

    If an Iranian jet fighter fired upon an unarmed or armed US jet fighter, um, isn’t that VERY SERIOUS? They juts happened to miss. Suppose they hit the plane, killed the pilot, etc., etc. Then what? It’s OK because they missed? I smell a rat.

  • Kahuna06

    Iranian F-4s, and we want to GIVE F-16s to Egypt. How come we have become so stupid. If your are going to give the arabs something, give them P51s, or maybe some P47s, but certainly nor one of our top of the line fighters. Next Obama will want to give them a few F22s or a F35 or two so they stay our FRIENDS.

  • SNAFU

    My only question is: Where are the Iranians getting the parts to keep the Phantoms flying?

    • http://wp1331.wordpress.com/ warspony

      Not that it makes a big difference, but there were many European Countries that were exempt from the UN sanctions against Iran – NGOs will find a way.

  • juver

    Scenario: A Cuban spy drone flies along the U.S. Gulf Coast. An old Air National Guard fighter flies in no more than to 18 miles.

    Cuban fighters intercept it and force it to turn back.

    Question: Would you think this was OK? Would you think the Americans are the baddies here, or would you think the Cubans are?

    • S O

      I happen to have an idea where you quoted this from. :)

    • Benjamin

      I do believe that Soviet Tu-95 Bear’s did this throughout the Cold War with out any major incidents.

  • Infidel4LIFE

    I think it would be comical and embarrassing for a drone to shoot down an Iranian f-4 or watever junk they have. The gun camera footage would be proof, so arm those drones with some air to air missles and record the 1st kill by a drone. That would be a first no doubt.

    • Restore Palestine

      You misspelled your name. It should be “Imbecile4LIFE”

      • crackedlenses

        You misspelled your name. It should be “RestoreMediocrity”.

  • STemplar

    Neener neener, guess central command didn’t get the Persian Gulf cry baby memo.

    “Our mission here hasn’t changed, and it’s been a steady mission for over 60 years — to contribute to the maritime security and stability of the region. I’m a firm believer that the overall stability of the region is greatly impacted by the level of stability and security of the maritime environment, that it really starts there. So, if the sea lanes of communication are safe, if ships are able to transit in and out of the Arabian Gulf through the Gulf of Oman through the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb through the Suez Canal or out to the Indian Ocean, then we are doing our job.”

    Vice Adm. John Miller, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
    http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130318/DEFRE

  • Benjamin

    “Confidently attack” ?? Seems like they ran away when confronted by something that could defend itself and the drone.

  • frank

    If Iran was given advanced weapons by the US and Germany like Israel they would be every bit as good.

    • Benjamin

      Iran had equipment every bit as advanced as what Israel had in the late1970’s/early 1980’s andjust look what happened in the Iran/Iraq War.

      • blight_

        Like Nazi Germany, they ran out of machines to throw into the fight. Or to husband the professional units they had, they resorted to human wave attacks coupled to very judicious use of the American aircraft they had.

  • USS ENTERPRISE

    Oh my gosh. Why would you even pursue an enemy from above? The only time someone would do that would be if they were strafing planes or convoys. Thats it. You don’t bomb fighters, you fire missiles and sometimes guns at them. And once again, if you have an ignorant person following above, pulling a Cobra might not be beneficial. You have to be able to not hit the enemy. You would have to keep your opponent in sight while your plane turn from a straight line to vertical. You would be under significant G stress. No advantage.

  • oblatt

    >Our mission here hasn’t changed, and it’s been a steady mission for over 60 years — to contribute to the maritime security and stability of the region.

    Yep same mission as ever – prop up the corrupt unrepresentative gulf regimes.

    The key to Iran’s acceptance by the US is a nuclear weapon. As soon as that happens Iran will suddenly be our partner and great friend and essential for the stability of the gulf.

    In the last ten years Iran has had one of the greatest increases is living standards in the world according to the economist. Once sanctions are dropped we should see an Iranian renascence.

  • Steamer

    Great…sending manned fighters to protect unmanned aircraft. Kind of defeats the purpose of using unmanned assets.

  • swift

    Were exactly is this “Arabian Gulf”? Is it located near the Donghae Sea? Does it contain the Island of Island of Diaoyu? Should authors stick with internationally recognized names for global places?

    This is about as ignorant as when folks try to pretend that Israel doesn’t exist by calling it the West Palestinian territories. Israel does in fact exist and this dispute took place in the Persian Gulf

    • Benjamin

      According to National Geographic, Arabian Gulf is a valid alternate name for the Persian Gulf.

  • xjarhead

    Whatever gulf they are flying over, kudos to the pilots and maintenance crews of those phantoms.

  • Garry Owen

    How does Iran continue to get parts for their F-4’s?

  • MARTIN

    gee iran has planes that can fly hhmmm

    • Restore Palestine

      Are you sorry that the F-22 and F-35 aren’t even flying after your government has dumped hundreds of billions into the two expensive pieces of junks.

      • Benjamin

        Both the F-22 and F-35 are flying in numbers greater then what Iran is currently capable of flying

        • Restore Palestine

          You mean the F-22 and F-35 are crashing in numbers greater than what Iran is capable of crashing. HaHa.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Ah Iran, the mecca of all aviation. Oh wait, thats no right.

      • blight_

        They’re flying, they’re just not perfect yet and it’s costing a frustrating amount of money.

        Regarding the -C: “Fly yes, land [on a carrier using tailhook]: no!”

        • USS ENTERPRISE

          Ah, Indiana Jones quote. Can’t go wrong with Indy.

  • Deepinnaheartatexas

    It might have been referred to as the “Arabian Gulf” in the same manner that GHW Bush used to call the Iraqi president “Saddam” (rhymes with “Adam”) instead of “Sah-dahm”. Just a little tweak of the tail, perhaps?

  • Willy

    I wonder what air medal the drone pilot will get. Flying in hostile area that is some scary stuff!

  • Adam Majkowski

    Doing everything possible to provoke war with Iran. People need to stop enlisting to stop the war. No troops, no war. Peace.

    • Dov

      True, Adam. More important is for ordinary people to become better informed about the American war agenda. People can’t oppose what they don’t know or don’t know enough, about.

  • xarkey

    There is an old proverb written sometime after 1400ad which (paraphrased) says “Where goes the Quran, progress stops”

  • kammeres

    Look at any world atlas. The body of water west of the Straits of Hormuz is the Persian Gulf. East of the Straits of Hormuz, it’s known as the Gulf of Oman. That opens into the Arabian Sea, which is northern extension of the Indian Ocean. No problem, eh?

  • Tom

    Was that Monkey flying the Jet?

  • USS ENTERPRISE

    Honestly, with all this debate about the name of the Gulf, why don’t we call it “The Gulf that is surrounded by Oil rich emirates who can’t keep their people from fighting each other and therefore show corruption”? How about calling it “The US carrier Gulf” as it seems that carriers show up there every other day to make peace. For gods sake, lets just get it over with.

  • palestine = fantasy

    i remember some dirty muslim said ; “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.

    For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

    And of course, there was “Chairman” Arafat who in a 1974 interview with The New Republic stated: “What you call Jordan is actually Palestine.”

    • blight_

      It comes on the heels of the death of the pan-Arabian state post-Ottoman empire.

  • palestine fantasy

    “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism for tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

  • chris christiansen

    why not load up a predator with c4 or any explosive, let them capture it and when they show it off as a captured american drone, we press the button and show them the recieving end of an airborne IED. Ironic huh? they will think twice about screwing with us.

    • USS ENTERPRISE

      But we lose a predator. To explosives. For no reason. And there is no guarantee it will work. Plus, they probably know all about IEDS and will recognize the plane as a Trojan Horse. I say greet them with a bomb, nothing fancy, just a bomb.

      • rabbitman

        but you can’t just bomb them for no liable reason unless they have actively committed an act of war against the US (check the rules of war Geneva convention)

    • rabbitman

      nice one dude but how would they load the drone with c4 because all that space is used up with the flight equipment and recorders……

  • USS ENTERPRISE

    *IQ not IG. Typo!

  • RJLipscomb

    The Arabs like to call it the “Arabian Gulf”. We call it the “Persian Gulf”. Same thing. Note, to the East is Persia and the West is Arabia.

    The fighter aircraft were on “alert” in case hostile Iranian aircraft made any attempt to intercept. My guess is they were F-18C’s, but could have been F-22’s. F-18’s would not need signal their presence. F-22’s would (stealth).

    Iran was probably just letting us know they are willing & capable of defending their airspace.

  • irani

    persian golf, persian

  • mohammad
  • ALIREZA

    THIS NEWS IS AS REAL AS THE GULF NAME!!

    AR***** GULF IS NOT EXIST ON THE EARTH

    PERSIANNNNNN GULFFFFFFF FOR EVER

  • jamgeadon

    Probably an F18C or a F14C.
    maybe or maybe not because the US could have carrier ops in those waters which are international because that drone had to come from somewhere and there aren’t many US or NATO armed forces bases in the region

  • jamgeadon

    I think that drone could have been spying on the Iranians due to the Iranian Nuclear weapons programme

    • Dov

      Alleged, “Iranian Nuclear weapons programme”. Just repeating an allegation does not make it true.

  • alfred

    persian gulf NOT arabian gulf
    Repeat your History course

  • Jack Daniel

    A Hoffman writing an article about Iran… must be all true lol lol lol