According to the Czech Republic’s Defense Minister, the crash of a Hungarian Air Force Saab JAS39D Gripen was not caused by a technical fault. Though no official cause has been named as the investigation has yet to be concluded, the Czech Air Force is no doubt breathing a giant sigh of relief right now.
The Czechs have relied on their fleet of fourteen Gripens as their primary defense fighter for the last ten years since retirement of their MiG-21 fleet, providing quick reaction alert (QRA) for both their sovereign territory as well as the Baltic region as participants of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing rotation.
The Hungarian Air Force also has
fourteen thirteen Gripens on strength, and one of their two-seat JAS39Ds suffered the crash while deployed to the Czech Republic. The jet appears to have overrun the runway after landing, likely with a fair amount of speed given the damage as the nose section completely broke off as well as significant damage to the tail section.
Saab, along with Czech and Hungarian officials, are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash.