The sight and sound of warplanes were heard flying above people’s homes in the north-east.
The aircraft – Typhoon jets from Lossiemouth – were spotted in the skies above Dunecht, Stonehaven and Dyce yesterday afternoon.
These are the jets used by the RAF as the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) and are often scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft as they approach British airspace.
A second aircraft, an RAF Voyager jet, listed as TARTN 29 left Brize Norton was also spotted in the region doing loops off the coast of Fraserburgh.
The aircraft were involved in training operations, according to a spokesman from RAF Lossiemouth.
He said: “All of the activity is training for our pilots currencies and competencies. This prepares them for UK and global operations, including Quick Reaction Alert, air policing missions overseas, and other deployments elsewhere.”
The QRA alert system uses a wide array of radar stations to monitor all traffic in and around the UK. When a potentially hostile aircraft is spotted teams at either RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, or RAF Boulmer in Northumberland, contact the pilots at RAF Lossiemouth and order them to Scramble.
The second QRA station at RAF Coningsby is then put on alert with pilots standing by in their aircraft.
Scramble Scramble Scramble
Once pilots at Lossiemouth receive the order they are rushed to their aircraft, which are already standing by and prepared to depart at a moments notice. The two Typhoons then take off and intercept the rogue aircraft.
A team of RAF air traffic controllers then work with civilian controllers to ensure the supersonic jets can reach their targets by the most direct route.
If the mission requires air-to-air refuelling, a Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton is available to resupply the jets while in the air.
Once the threat is escorted out of UK airspace the Typhoons return to RAF Lossiemouth.