A Ministry of Defense spokesperson told the News Letter that the four jets were RAF Typhoons which flew over NI for half an hour this morning.
They are staying at RAF Aldergrove for the weekend, he added.
“Northern Ireland is officially classified as Low Level Flying Area 19,” he added. “Going forward, they will make such releases as they come.”
Until now, low-flying RAF fighter aircraft have been virtually unheard of throughout NI, especially in light of local political sensitivities.
However, it is understood that yesterday’s sortie marks a new era where the RAF will regularly carry out such sorties, just like in low-flying areas in England.
Residents of Co Down took to Banbridge Area News on Facebook to express their shock at the unexpected exit. Annie Chambers said: “The noise was unreal between Loughbrickland and Scarva! “I heard them! I thought they were landing on the road!” Fiona Lively saw and heard them at Loughbrickland. “The noise was unreal and their speed!” his dog – “terrified by the noise”. Donna Hutchings added: “They were really low! The noise was awful”. “They scared the dogs and me,” they said. They saw the jets flying in formation from Newry towards Aldergrove.
Michael Lyke from Newtownabbey is an airplane enthusiast who broke planes when they arrived at RAF Aldergrove. tail badge of 1 (F) Squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth,” he told the News Letter.
“What you see under the wings are large full fuel tanks and what looks like a missile is more than likely a sensor or jamming module of some description.”
“Normally, planes arriving from mainland Britain would approach Northern Ireland over County Down.
Today I understand from other aviation enthusiasts that they transited through the Omagh, Portrush and Causeway regions before arriving at Belfast Aldergrove Airport.
The newsletter asked former NATO Intelligence Colonel Philip Ingram of Co Tyrone whether the ‘new normal’ of low-flying RAF fighter jet training over of NI could be the result of increasingly belligerent military rhetoric from Russia – and the fact that the Republic of Ireland’s relatively scarce navy and air force makes it a weak link on NATO’s eastern flank. all of the airspace over the island of Ireland is something the Republic Government continues to rely on the RAF to do if necessary as the Republic of Ireland does not have this capability and has agreements in place .”