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2 ASDF fighters make contact midair, causing minor damage

An F-2 fighter involved in the accident on Nov. 2, 2018 is shown in this photo. (Photo courtesy of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force)

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Two Air Self-Defense Force F-2 fighter jets came into contact midair Friday over the sea off southwestern Japan, the ASDF said, but despite suffering minor damage both aircraft managed to return to base.

The incident between the fighter jets, which fly out of the Tsuiki Air Base in Fukuoka Prefecture, occurred about 200 kilometers west of the base at around 3:55 p.m.

The jets had been flying for about an hour on a training exercise and were traveling in close proximity when the collision occurred, according to the ASDF.

The 8th Air Wing fighter jets returned to base at around 4:22 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively, and the two male pilots were not injured.

One of the fighter jets sustained damage to its vertical stabilizer while the other had damage to the missile launcher beneath the left wing and a scratch on its fuel tank.

The aircraft were not carrying missiles during the training flight, the ASDF said, and an investigation is being held into the accident.

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