An RAF pilot and his navigator have been airlifted to hospital after ejecting from a Tornado fighter jet moments before it smashed into the sea.
The servicemen, from RAF Lossiemouth, were flying off the north-west coast of Scotland early this afternoon when the incident happened.
Coastguard and lifeboat teams were alerted to the incident at about 2.45pm and launched to the scene off Rhu Re, near Gairloch, on the Scottish mainland.
A helicopter from Stornoway Coastguard flew the pilot and navigator, whose conditions are unknown, to Raigmore hospital in Inverness.
According to eyewitnesses, a second Tornado circled the crash scene shortly after the first jet went down.
The RAF has four Tornado squadrons based at RAF Lossiemouth in the north-east of Scotland and four squadrons at RAF Marham in Norfolk.
According to the RAF, “the Tornado GR4 is a variable geometry, two-seat, day or night, all-weather attack aircraft, capable of delivering a wide variety of weapons”.
Introduced in 1979, the 1,500mph Tornado GR4 – which can drop 1000lb bombs – is a world leader in the specialised field of all-weather, day and night tactical reconnaissance.
Its Mauser cannon is capable of firing a staggering 1,700 rounds per minute.