File Photo, An Israeli Atalef rescue helicopter lands during exercise on an Israeli navy aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea during joint maneuvers with the Turkish and US navies. AFP
The IAF "Atalef" maritime helicopter went down Monday in the Mediterranean off the coast of the northern city of Haifa during a training flight, the army said in a statement.
Rescue teams, including Israel's Special Forces Underwater Missions Unit, were deployed but were unable to save two pilots who were declared dead at the scene.
A third crew member , an aerial observer was "moderately injured", the army said.
Israeli Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin announced a temporary freeze on training exercises.
A senior officer would lead an investigative team examining the "incident", the army said, without giving any further indication of the cause of the crash.