Military confirms F16s’ close call

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Two Norwegian F-16 fighter jets flew within 300 meters of each other during last month’s major military exercise in northern Norway called “Cold Response.” The incident is now under investigation, confirms a military spokesman.

One of the F16s taking part in last month's "Cold Response" exercise. PHOTO: Forsvaret

One of the jets was from the Norwegian air force base at Ørland, the other from Bodø, and they were just seconds from colliding, reported Trondheim newspaper Adresseavisen. The incident occurred just six days after a Norwegian Air Force Hercules aircraft crashed into a mountainside in northern Sweden, also while taking part in Cold Response. All five Norwegian officers on board were killed.

Military officials said it was too early to say what went wrong in an exercise where the jets are supposed to fly against each other in a simulated battle situation. Investigators are examining radar data and questioning the persons involved.

The Norwegian-led Cold Response 2012 exercise was the largest military exercise in Norway for  10 years. It involved several thousand soldiers from 15 countries, with the largest representation coming from the US, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Sweden.

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