The above image showcases a $70 million flying machine making its incredible landing on just a civilian road. The graceful maneuvering was done as a part of the Exercise Baana 2015 (that took place from 19th to 26th September), and the craft in question is none other than a Saab JAS 39 Gripen belonging to the Swedish Air Force. In fact, this is the very first time that this multirole fighter aircraft has made its landing on a road runway in Finland.
Suffice it to say, landing on a highway road is far more difficult than a dedicated runway with broader dimensions. The predicament of this delicate maneuvering process was further exacerbated by the overcast conditions in Finland, as the Swedish pilots flew all the way from their native country to make the landing on this particular highway 924.
However, according to The Aviationist, the protocol of emergency landings to be made by fighter planes on civilian roads, still exists in many Baltic countries –
…such kind of training was part of the standard training conducted mainly in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe during the Cold War. With the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, highway take-offs and landings have become less frequent.
However, the threat of Russian bombers violating the airspace of Baltic countries requiring dispersion and QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) intervention, from any place, including public roads, is still alive.
Images credit: Swedish Armed Forces