A fatal accident inquiry will not be held into the deaths of three RAF Lossiemouth crew in the 2012 Tornado jet crash over the Moray Firth.
The Crown Office made the decision despite pleas for a court hearing from bereaved relatives and local politicians.
Flt Lt Adam Sanders, Sqn Leader Samuel Bailey and Flt Lt Hywel Poole died when two Tornado GR4s collided off the coast of Caithness in July 2012.
A Military Aviation Authority inquiry last year found that 17 factors contributed their deaths, including the Ministry of Defence’s failure to fit a collision warning system to the jets, and the lack of an effective care plan for Sqn Ldr Bailey, who had developed a fear of flying.
The MoD has admitted liability for the tragedy.
David Green, head of the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit, said: “Crown Counsel carefully weighed up the full circumstances of the case, and concluded that a fatal accident inquiry could not better and would only repeat the highly detailed investigation into the tragedy already conducted by the Military Aviation Authority.
“The Service Inquiry Report which they produced also contains conclusions and recommendations which are more wide ranging than could be expected to be achieved in a fatal accident inquiry.
“The RAF and MoD have accepted the recommendations of the Service Inquiry Report, and the nearest relatives of those who tragically died in this accident have been advised of Crown Counsel’s decision.”
Angus Robertson MP, SNP defence spokesman and Moray MP, said: “This is an extremely disappointing decision. I am totally mystified why there won’t be a fatal accident inquiry.
“There are critical outstanding questions about Tornado safety and the delayed collision warning system.
“The MoD failed in its duty of care towards the RAF personnel involved in the Tornado collision.
“I believe they, their families and colleagues deserved better and a proper inquiry.”
An RAF spokesman said: “Our thoughts remain with the families of Squadron Leader Sam Bailey, Flight Lieutenant Hywel Poole and Flight Lieutenant Adam Sanders.
“The Ministry of Defence has provided all information requested by the Scottish legal authorities in their consideration of this matter and has assisted fully during the completion of a comprehensive Service Inquiry, the thoroughness of which was one of the main factors in the decision not to hold a fatal accident inquiry.
‘The Service inquiry made 42 recommendations, all of which have been implemented including the ongoing introduction of a collision avoidance system to Tornado GR4 aircraft which will be another tool for aircrew to use.
“This is the first time such a system has been fitted to an existing combat fast jet anywhere in the world that we know of.”