Italian Air Force plane U-208
Italian Air Force plane U-208 seen on the field, around 30 km south-east Rome, after the collision. Image Credit: AFP

Rome: Two Italian Air Force planes collided in mid-air on Tuesday, killing both pilots during training exercises northwest of Rome, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said.

The two pilots were on board U-208 training aircraft and were participating in a training mission, according to an Air Force press release.

The cause of the collision was not immediately known.

"We are devastated to hear about the deaths of two Air Force pilots during a training accident near Guidonia," Meloni said.

The prime minister sent her condolences to the families of the pilots and to members of the Air Force.

The U-208 is a lightweight, single-engine aircraft that can carry up to four passengers, plus the pilot, and has a top speed of 285 km (177 mph).