Two British traffic patrol officers from North Berwick were involved in an unusual incident while checking for speeding motorists on the A1 Great North Road. One of the officers used a hand held radar device to check the speed of a vehicle approaching over the crest of a hill, and was surprised when the speed was recorded at over 300 mph. Their radar suddenly stopped working and the officers were not able to reset it.
Just then a deafening roar over the tree tops revealed that the radar had in fact latched on to a NATO Tornado fighter jet which was engaged in low flying exercise over the Border district, approaching from the North Sea.
Back at police headquarters the chief constable fired off a stiff letter of complaint to the RAF Liaison Office. By return came the reply in true laconic RAF style:
“Thank you for your message, which now allows us to complete the file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked onto, your hostile radar equipment and automatically sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, an air-to-ground missile aboard the fully-armed aircraft had also automatically locked onto your equipment. Fortunately the pilot flying the Tornado recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile systems alert status, and was able to override the automated defence system before the missile was launched and your hostile radar installation was destroyed. Good Day”