Iranian naval patrol boats have again conducted an “unsafe and unprofessional” encounter with the US Navy in international waters near a critical choke point for maritime traffic, but this time they took a different approach.

The Iranian navy ship, identified as a Houdong-class by the US Naval institute, came within 800 yards of the USS Bataan helicopter carrier, USS Cole guided-missile destroyer, and the USNS Washington Chambers cargo ship and “trained a laser on a CH-53E helicopter that accompanied the formation,” Commander Bill Urban, spokesman for the Navy’s fifth fleet said in a statement to Business Insider.

The Iranian ship shined its spotlight ” from bow to stern and stern to bow before heading outbound from the  formation,” said Urban.

“Illuminating helicopters with lasers at night is dangerous as it creates a navigational hazard that can impair vision and can be disorienting to pilots using night vision goggles,” said Urban. The laser caused the CH-53 to fire off flares as a countermeasure.


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Featured image courtesy of U.S. Navy.