You don’t happen to see footage from inside a Russian gunship too often.
Aviadarts is an yearly Russian all-Army competition attended by units of the Aerospace Forces, four military districts and the Northern Fleet. During the games, the best aircrews compete on different military specialties and conduct live firing exercises “to reinforce international military and technical military cooperation of the Contest participants; to raise the prestige of military service; to raise the level of training of the Contest participants; to demonstrate combat capabilities (military performance) of modern models of equipment, of weapons and military equipment.”
Once the qualifying rounds (or “preliminaries”) are completed, Aviadarts contest is carried out in three stages:
- Physical training: with main and backup crews involved in physical exercises, pull-ups, freestyle swimming etc.
- Visual aerial reconnaissance, that also includes formation flying
- Combat employment against ground targets: during which combat planes and helicopter engage ground targets while military transport aircraft conduct cargo airdrops.
The All-Army Stage of the Aviadarts 2019 Competition is currently underway in Crimea. From May 24 to June 9 Aviation crews of the Aerospace Forces, 60 crews flying MiG-29SMT, Su-27SM3, Su-30SM, Su-35, Su-34, Su-24M, Su-25, Tu-22M3, Il-76MD and Mi-24, Mi-35 as well as Ka-52 and Mi-8 helicopters will take part in the drills.
Dealing with the helicopters, crews of Ka-52 Alligator, Mi-8 AMTSH Terminator, Mi-35 and Mi-28N Night Hunter helicopters perform ground attacks using 80-mm unguided missiles and firing 30-mm cannons at more than 70 targets (divided into 12 types for various types of weapons) at the Chaud range in Crimea.
The following video, released by the Russian MoD, shows some of the Russian gunships in action during Aviadarts 2019. The gunner seat view is particularly interesting.
Following the national final stage of Aviadarts currently underway, the winning aircrews will take part in the Internation Aviadarts (that will be held in August), that is also attended by foreign air arms, such as China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force – PLAAF, that took part in the previous editions. Organized for the first time in August 2015, the two-week International Army Games involve on average 30 world countries. The competition includes a wide range of military disciplines such as tank biathlon or amphibious assault contests, as well as the challenge of aeronautical skills called International Aviadarts.
H/T to Giovanni Colla for helping us fixing the story with lots of additional details about Aviadarts and International Aviadarts.