For a traffic patrol officer from North Berwick in England, it was just another routine shift of checking vehicle speeds on the local highway. But when he pointed the hand-held radar device at the approaching vehicles, he was surprised when the machine registered a speed of over 300mph.Following this, the radar gun stopped working and the officer was unable to reset it. Then, from over the horizon, came a deafening roar. Turns out the cop had locked onto a NATO Tornado fighter jet that was conducting low-flying exercises over the North Sea.Back at police HQ the officer in question reported the incident to the chief constable who duly sent off an animated complaint to the British Royal Air Force’s liaison office.The RAF’s concise response is as follows: “Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete the file on the incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had automatically locked on to 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 on to 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.”
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
From Autocar in the UK.