Russia's first-ever aerobatic team contest is underway in the city of Voronezh, in the South-West of Russia.
Over 140 pilots get the chance to show off their group piloting skills and combat use of MiG-29, Su-27 and Su-30SM fighter aircraft, Su-25 jets, Su-24 and Su-34 strike fighters, Il-76 military cargo aircrafts and Tu-22M3 long range strategic bombers. Individually, pilots compete flying Mi-24, Mi-26, Mi-35, Mi-28N “Night Hunter” and Ka-52 “Alligator” helicopters.
Contestants are equipped with C-8 unguided aviation missiles and GSh-30-2 aircraft auto cannons for ground targets. In addition, pilots are tasked with overcoming air defense systems in the form of the Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system and S-300 surface-to-air missile system.
The aerobatic teams taking part in the competition include Strizhi (Swifts), Russkiye Rytsari (Russian Knights), Sokoly Rossii (Falcons of Russia) and Berkuty (Golden Eagles).
Helping prep the aircraft for combat use are over 500 technical engineers.
Ground target destruction is being monitored by remote video surveillance devices which send data to judges sitting in the command center. Unmanned aerial vehicles, keeping watch in the air, are monitoring the piloting skills and ground target destruction.
Among other things, judges evaluate the level of the teams’ flying accuracy in their synchronized display, taking into account both speed and altitude.
The contest is part of Russia’s annual “Aviadarts” show, which kicked off on May 27 and runs until June 1.
“Aviadarts", first launched in 2013, is a system of multi-level competitions between air force crews and naval aviation in the use of airborne weapons and precise shooting. Attack helicopters, fighters, and ground attack aircraft hit ground targets, while military transport helicopters drop their cargoes on designated drop sites.
The international stage of “Aviadarts-2015” will take place in August in Russia’s Ryazan region.
This year nine countries will participate in Aviadarts: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, India, Egypt, China, Pakistan; Bahrain and Brazil will come as observers with a view to participating at a later date.