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Norwegian Military Plane Goes Missing During Exercise Mission

A Norwegian military plane has gone missing while participating in an international military exercise. It is feared the plane may have crashed into the mountains in northern Sweden in bad weather conditions, officials said Thursday.

According to officials, the Hercules C130-J Norwegian air force plane was on its way from Evenes in northern Norway to the Swedish city of Kiruna to pick up additional personnel when it went missing.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane when it was approximately 80-90 kilometers west of Kiruna. The aircraft is said to have disappeared from the radar system 15 minutes later, triggering fears it may have crashed.

There were five people on board the Norwegian military aircraft when it went missing. At least four of the plane's five occupants are believed to be Norwegian nationals.

Extensive search operations, involving two Danish helicopters, two Swedish helicopters and one Norwegian surveillance airplane, are progressing to tack down the missing aircraft and its occupants. Officials said the search operations are being hampered by bad weather.

The aircraft was participating in a Norwegian-led international military exercise, involving some 16,000 soldiers from 14 different countries, when it went missing. The exercise, code-named Cold Response, is for rehearsing "high intensity operations in winter conditions within NATO with a UN mandate."

by RTT Staff Writer

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