Two British traffic patrol officers from North Berwick, to the easy of Edinburgh, were involved in an unusual incident while checking for speeding motorists on the A1, Great North Road.
One of the officers (who are not named) used a hand-held radar gun to check the speed of vehicles approaching over the crest of a hill, and were surprised when the speed was recorded at over 300 mph. The machine then stopped working and the officers were unable to reset it.
The radar had in fact locked onto a NATO Tornado fighter jet over the North Sea, which was engaged in a low-flying exercise over the Borders district.
Back at the police headquarters the Chief Constable penned a stiff complaint to the RAF liaison office.
Back came the reply in true laconic RAF style. “Thank you for your message which allows us to close the file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer inside the Tornado fighter plane had automatically locked onto your ‘hostile radar equipment’ and sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore the sidewinder air-to-ground missiles aboard the fully armed aircraft had also locked onto the target. Fortunately the Dutch pilot flying the Tornado responded to the missile status alert intelligently and was able to override the automatic protection system before the missile was launched.