The US military has confirmed that a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft was close to the RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that was shot down by Iran on 20 June, seemingly corroborating an Iranian claim that it deliberately did not target the manned aircraft.
The presence of a P-8 was first reported by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency the day after the UAV was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) over the Gulf of Oman.
“The plane had also violated our airspace and we could target it, but we did not do so because our goal behind downing the American drone was to warn the terrorist forces of the US,” it quoted Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, as saying.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes