The U.S. Navy warship that the Pentagon says brought down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz last week may also have brought down a second drone, according to CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.
“We’re confident we brought down one drone; we may have brought down a second,” McKenzie said in an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, referring to the USS Boxer’s encounter with an unmanned aircraft.
Last week, Pentagon sources told NPR that the USS Boxer had used electronic measures to take down a drone that the U.S. says was operated by Iran’s military. A new U.S. anti-drone system is believed to have been used aboard the USS Boxer as the ship moved between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Defense Department officials also said that in addition to the unmanned aircraft, the USS Boxer was forced to contend with at least one Iranian helicopter and several fast boats that moved toward the ship on Thursday morning. In response, the officials said, the Boxer sent up a helicopter, which then flew side by side with the Iranian helicopter to ward it off.
Speaking aboard the USS Boxer amphibious assault ship, McKenzie gave new details about what he called “a complex tactical picture.”
“We believe two drones were successfully engaged,” he said. “There may have been more that, you know, we’re not aware of. Those are the two that we engaged successfully.”