Collision avoidance systems being fitted to Moray-based jets

Tornado aircraft based at RAF Lossiemouth will be fitted with the anti-collision warning systems after all.

Failure by the Ministry of Defence to fit the systems was cited as a contributory factor to the crash in 2012 that caused the deaths of three Lossiemouth-based airmen over the Moray Firth.

A Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) was first recommended for the RAF’s fast jets 25 years ago – but subsequently rejected. With the Tornado fleet due to be taken out of service in four years time the MoD have confirmed that eight of the remaining 100 Tornado GR4’s had already had TCAS fitted – with more to follow.

A spokeswoman confirmed the that the system is now being fitted, saying: “It is progressively being rolled out across the Tornado GR4 fleet as aircraft receive scheduled maintenance, ensuring a swift introduction of the system while minimising additional costs.

“The system has been fitted to eight aircraft to date and these will shortly be joined by a ninth.

“While the introduction of TCAS on Tornado will add an additional layer of safety, there are already a multitude of measures in place to minimise the risk of a mid-air collision.”

The announcement follows condemnation of the MoD last week by the director of the Military Aviation Authority for their continued delays in fitting TCAS to Tornado and Typhoon jets.

Moray MP Angus Robertson, however, described the response from MoD as “shocking”, insisting that fitting the system to just eight of the 100 Tornado aircraft at the current rate would mean the safety measures would be completed just a year before they are due to retire.

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