The incident occurred today when two of the Panavia Tornado fighter jets operated by the RAF collided in mid-air. Two of the airmen who were rescued, were taken to the Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. The armed forces refused to reveal their medical condition and informed the media that they are hoping to rescue the remaining two airmen within the next few hours. Both the aircrafts had taken off from the RAF Lossiemouth base, situated to the west of the city of Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.
The latest accident is the third in a series of mishaps involving the Tornado jets from RAF Lossiemouth, in the last 24 months. There were two serious incidents occurring in 2011, both of which resulted in the loss of the aircraft. No casualties were reported in these incidents, although two airmen had lost their lives during another aircraft crash, which happened in July 2009.
The Panavia Tornado is one of the major attack aircrafts currently operated by the RAF. The RAF currently operates a total of 125 Tornadoes, most of them belonging to the GR4 and GR4A classes. In addition to the RAF, the Luftwaffe, the Italian Air Force, and the Royal Saudi Air Force also possess the Tornado jets. Recently the RAF has used these aircrafts for its operations in Afghanistan and Libya. The RAF Lossiemouth is currently home to 3 squadrons of the GR4 aircrafts.
According to the latest reports, rescue boats are conducting search and rescue operations in the Moray Firth, near the Beatrice oil field for the two remaining airmen. Meanwhile an official from the Ministry of defence was quoted as saying that an investigation will be launched soon to determine the exact reasons for the aircraft collision.