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Swedish Air Force JAS-39 Gripen crashes after bird strike; pilot ejected safely.

The pilot of the Swedish-built JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft aborted the landing he was attempting and ejected

A Swedish Air Force (Svenska Flygvapnet) JAS-39 Gripen fighter crashed on Aug. 21, 2018 near an air base in southern Sweden after striking several birds as it was about to land, Sweden’s Armed Forces said.

The pilot of the Swedish-built Gripen fighter aircraft aborted the landing he was attempting and ejected, said Col. Lars Bergstrom, head of the Blekinge Air Force Wing near Ronneby in southern Sweden.

“The pilot is in good spirits and is doing fine,” Bergstrom told a news conference, adding he was taken to a nearby hospital for checks. “We could see the whole thing from the control tower.”

The collision occurred at about 9.45 a.m. (0745 GMT) north of Ronneby, near Karlskrona — 160 kilometers (99 miles) east of Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city.

“The pilot bailed out and he has apparently waved at the rescue helicopter and he seems to be okay at least. We don’t know much more at the moment,” Sweden’s Armed Forces spokesperson Johan Lundberg told the TT news agency.

The JAS-39 Gripen is the backbone of several air forces around the world today. It’s a modern multi-role fighter aircraft, achieving a perfect balance between excellent operational performance, high-tech solutions, cost-efficiency and industrial partnership. It is designed to meet customer needs by countering a wide range of existing and future threats, while simultaneously meeting their strict requirements for flight safety, reliability, training efficiency and low operating costs. It is also the first fighter system with full integration of the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile. Built for full NATO interoperability, Gripen C has successfully participated in NATO-led operations as well as numerous exercises and air policing assignments.

Photo credit: Tuomo Salonen / SIM Finnish Aviation Museum via Wikipedia

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