The Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) aerial display team will perform a new program at the 2012 Bahrain Air Show and it will be the team’s first foreign performance in four years, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Thursday.
The Russkiye Vityazi team is the only unit in the world using Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker heavy-duty fighters for solo and group aerobatic stunts. Other aerobatic teams, including the famous Patrouille de France, use combat trainers, aerobatic planes or light fighters for this purpose.
Drik said the new half-an-hour program will be performed every day at the biannual Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS), which is held for the second time and runs on January 19-21.
The Russkiye Vityazi pilots fly the highly maneuverable and multi-role Sukhoi Su-27-P Flanker-B and Su-27-UB Flanker-C fighters either solo or in formation. They became the first Soviet aerobatic team to perform abroad, traveling to the United Kingdom in September 1991.
The famous aerial team has since performed in Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Malaysia, the United States, Canada, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Austria, China, the Netherlands and Norway.
The Russkiye Vityazi aerobatic team was formed April 5, 1991 and is based at the 237th Guards Proskurov Air Force Regiment, comprising the best pilots from the Kubinka Air Base near Moscow.