- Two Sukhoi Su-34s jets collided over the Strait of Tartary, Sea of Japan
- One of the planes crashed into the sea, and the two pilots ejected
- They were rescued from the icy Sea of Japan and are in ‘satisfactory’ condition
Two Russian fighter-bomber jets have crashed mid-air over the Sea of Japan during a training exercise.
The Sukhoi Su-34s accidentally collided while flying over the Strait of Tartary in Russia‘s Far East, sending one of them into the water below.
The two pilots of one of crashed jet ejected and have since been found in the icy sea in ‘satisfactory’ conditions, said Russian defence sources.
The pilots of the other warplane were able to land safely, albeit with a damaged engine.
Crash: The Sukhoi Su-34s collided mid-air while flying over the Strait of Tartary in the Sea of Japan in Russia’s Far East during a training mission (file photo)
The dramatic rescue mission saw one pilot found on a life raft in the sea, and could be picked up by helicopter.
Local news channel TV 360 then reported that the second Su-34 pilot was found.
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The aircraft were reported to have been ‘manoeuvring without ammunition’ when they collided.
‘The theory of the pilots’ failure to measure a safe distance between the two aircraft’ is being investigated, said a source.
One account said the planes ‘brushed against each other’.
Going down: The crash took place in the northern gulf in the Sea of Japan known as the Strait of Tartary or the Tartar Strait
Interfax reported that one of the Su-34s landed with a ‘defunct’ engine after the collision.
‘One Su-34 fell after the collision, and the other managed to land with a defunct engine,’ a source said.
The bombers were performing scheduled flights from the Hurba airfield located ten miles outside Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
This is not the first time Russia’s Su-34 jets have been involved in an accident.
In June, 2015, an Su-34 bomber crashed after a routine training flight in Russia’s Voronezh region.
Search and rescue: The pilots of the two-seater fighter-bomber jets are reported to have ejected on impact but their fate is still unknown
The plane’s parachute failed to open after landing and the plane skidded off the runway. The plane overturned, but none of the crew was hurt.
The Sukhoi Su-34 is a Russian Air Force twin-engine, twin-seat, supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber aircraft.
It has a range of 680 miles at low altitude and a max speed of 1,200mph.
The fighter jets were also part of the Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War.