The U.S. Navy has reported that an Iranian P-3F Orion aircraft on a maritime patrol flew dangerously close to its ships that were conducting a resupply mission in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. Fifth Fleet is operating in the area in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the central region through which a large chunk of the world's oil exports flow.

A single-pass might be able to be overlooked because Iranian airspace is not far from the location. However, according to a report by Defense Blog, the P-3 Orion flew several times near the USNS Alan Shepard and the USS Normandy on the Nov. 11. The Navy did not take any military action, but the situation was monitored very closely.

Buzzing of naval ships by aircraft of rival nations in international waters is not uncommon but with Iran it has come months after the U.S. Navy shot down one the country's drones, and probably a second one, in July on a similar surveillance mission. The Navy said at the time of the incident that the USS Wasp shot down the drone because it was "a safety of flight problem."

Those shootings also came soon after the Iranians shot down a U.S. drone and President Trump ordered an attack on Iranian targets before cancelling the order barely minutes before the assault began.

The P-3 Orion is a land-based long-range anti-submarine warfare aircraft primarily used for weather operations in most countries. The aircraft was produced by Lockheed Martin for Iran between the years of 1975 and 1976. Despite the degrading tensions between the two countries the Orion was continuously used in service by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force during a tumultuous time in its history.

P3 Orion A Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft takes off from RAAF Base Pearce north of Perth, on March 21, 2014. Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed

According to a report by Defense Blog, there are still a total of four P3F Orion aircraft in service with the Iranians. Incursions of this nature don't come as any surprise to anyone in the military as tensions between the United States and Iran have reached a fever pitch in recent months, with Iran's purported attacks on Syrian oil fields using their Houthi Rebels to carry out missions.

The U.S. military has been able to maintain composure toward Iran though, in order to avoid an international incident in a strategic sea lane. The U.S. military regularly patrols the area and enforce international maritime law, allowing for safe passage through the heavily contested area. In this case, aside from releasing the footage, there has been no specific comment by the U.S. military or its allies in regards to the situation. Iran has also not made a statement as to the intentions of the P3 Orion.