Tag Archives: Su-30SM

Russian Victory Day Rehearsal Flyover In Moscow Produces Spectacular Images

Flyover Cancelled on Parade Day Due to Weather, But Rehearsal was Interesting and Impressive.

May 9, 2017

A structural silence cloaks Red Square today. Cold humidity hangs over expansive rows of military formations under the weight of history.

You can hear air moving between the ranks of silent soldiers frozen at attention. The tanks, the missile launchers, the artillery cannons sit motionless. The quiet hangs for 60 seconds. A muted, dignified tribute to the millions lost. Then the great Spasskaya Tower clock bell tolls brightly through the grey. It is the hour of victory, the greatest military victory in the history of all mankind. A crack in the Russian grey sky reveals a shard of sunlight. Seventy-two years have passed since the Russians defeated Germany in WWII, the Great Patriotic War.

It is Victory Day today in Moscow and across all of Russia, a country so vast it spans 11 time zones, nearly half the globe. This is the largest military display and celebration anywhere in the world by a massive margin. The Victory Day parade in Moscow accompanies large military parades in 26 other large Russian cities to observe the solemn holiday.

The red banner, raised over the Reichstag in Berlin on this day in 1945 by Sgt. Mikhail Yegorov and Jr. Sgt. Meliton Kantaria is marched down Manezhnaya Street in Moscow today. This very same Red Banner, frayed but still vibrant in defiance, flew over the ruins of Hitler’s headquarters when Germany was reduced to ruble in 1945.

The Great War was a cataclysm that claimed a staggering 20 million Russian civilians and soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. Twenty million lives…

“This was a tremendous tragedy” says Russian President Vladimir Putin in his remarks from the reviewing stand. Dignitaries flank President Putin along with aging Russian Heroes of the Russian Federation, their faces long and their lapels sagging under an unlikely volume of medals. During the Siege of Stalingrad Russian soldiers like these men lured German invaders into the ruins of bombed-out buildings and dropped concrete blocks on them to kill them. They had long since run out of ammunition. And food. Disease, frostbite, hypothermia and starvation claimed more casualties on both sides than battle did.

Private Aleksey Vakav carries that Red Banner today, goose-stepping in precise marshal cadence between saber-wielding guards of the 154th Independent Commandants Regiment. A descendant of a soldier who fought in the Great War, Private Vakav is one of 10,000 soldiers, 100 vehicles and 72 aircraft in the parade today.

The weather over Moscow today cancelled the sweeping flyovers of wave after wave of new Russian combat aircraft, but yesterday’s rehearsal produced an impressive procession of Russian air power. Everything from heavy bombers to tankers to the latest fighter aircraft flew in formation over Red Square yesterday in rehearsal before the weather cancelled the flying portion of today’s parade.

A combined formation of the Russian Knights in their SU-30’s and the Russian Swifts in the their MiG-29’s, each with new paint schemes (Strizhi.Ru)

Mr. Oleg Chernikov granted TheAviationist.com permission to share these outstanding photos taken by a number of his photographers around Moscow during the rehearsal day yesterday prior to Victory Day when the low overcast cancelled the flyovers.

One of the most conspicuous surprises on the rehearsal day flyovers was the new livery on the Russian Knights’ Sukhoi SU-30SMs. The aircraft featured a new solid blue vertical stabilizer with a Russian star insignia. The new livery is cleaner looking and photographs better in most sky conditions compared to the older, more complex tail graphics. The newly painted Russian Knights’ Su-30SMs flew in a beautiful formation with MiG-29 aircraft of the Russian Swifts aerobatic team. The MiG-29S of the Swifts also had some new tail markings for the 2017 demonstration season.

The older tail markings for the Russian Knights’ SU-30’s compared to the new, solid color tail debuted over Moscow. (image credit: RT)

Heavy bombers overflew Red Square on rehearsal day also including an Il-78 tanker with a huge Tu-160 in trail simulating aerial refueling.

An IL-78 Aerial Tanker simulates a midair refueling mission with a TU-160 “White Swan” heavy bomber. (Strikhi.ru)

Four MiG-31 long range heavy interceptors overflew the parade venue on rehearsal day, an especially exotic sighting since the large relative to the MiG-25 “Foxbat” was never imported outside Russia or Kazakhstan.

A formation of MiG-31 long range interceptors flew over on rehearsal day. (Strizhi.Ru)

While the cancellation of the flyovers was disappointing, the scale of the Victory Day parade never fails to impress. Perhaps the most refreshing thing about today’s version of the parade is that international media provided excellent real-time streaming coverage and tourists from around the world are free to visit Russia to see the parade in person, a worthy destination for any aviation enthusiast. The Victory Day parade in Moscow is an even greater showcase for the might of the Russian military but with the new openness since the Cold War era it is also a greater source of unity and historical reflection making the event even more valuable internationally.

Top image: A formation of heavy bombers including three Tu-22M “Backfire” bombers and a huge Tu-160 Blackjack (credit: Strizhi.ru).

Watch the first solo display training of the new Su-30SM of the Russian Knights aerobatic team at LIMA 17. At dusk.

Sunset Supermaneuverability: Mesmerizing footage.

The “Russian Knights” aerobatic team have brought their new Su-30SM jets at the LIMA 17 exhibition currently underway in Malaysia.

The participation in Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition represents the world premiere of the “Russian Knights” flying the new supermaneuverable multirole combat aircraft delivered in Fall 2016.

The Su-30SM is a multirole derivative of the Su-27 Flanker. It’s a special variant of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI fighters equipping by the Indian Air Force and the Su-30MKM fighters flown by the Royal Malaysian Air Force produced by the Irkut Corporation for the Russian Air Force that has also extensively used the aircraft in the air war over Syria.

The Su-30SM a 4+ Generation twin-engine, two seat supermaneuverable multi-role aircraft equipped with improved avionics, the Bars-R radar and a wide-angle HUD (Head Up Display).

The new aircraft’s supermaneuverability has allowed the team, that previously flew the Su-27 and Su-27UB aircraft, to develop a new flying demo.

The following footage by Miezan Bohor shows one of the four aircraft practicing the solo display over Langkawi at desk. The almost constant use of afterburners lets you observe the thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles at work in the darkness.

And here is the solo display rehearsals on Mar. 20:

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These awesome photos from KADEX 2016 show Kazakhstan Air Force combat aircraft as you’ve never seen them before

Su-30SMs, Su-27M-2s, Yak-130, Pterodactyl-1 and much more exotic stuff you don’t happen to see too often.

Held between Jun. 2 and 5, 2016, the Kazakhstan Defence Expo (KADEX 2016) provided an interesting opportunity to have a close look at some rather rare Kazakhstan Air Force “hardware.”

The IV International Exhibition of Weapons Systems and Military Equipment brought to Astana some really interesting combat aircraft.

Kazakhstan Air Force were represented at KADEX 2016 by their Sukhoi Display Team the “Zhetysu” (Severn Rivers) from the 604 Air Base, Aktobe. They brought with them five Su-27M-2, numbered 07, 11, 14, 16, 17 yellow along with a single Su-27UBM-2 numbered 52 yellow.

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Su-27M-2 # 07 did not fly at all during the show, and was probably the spare machine.

The Su-27UBM-2 was always the lead aircraft for the formation demonstration, and was always flown by Col. Timur Omarov, the Team Leader.

Solo demonstrations were flown by the two Su-30SM #02 and #03 red on a daily basis.

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EC-145 helicopters took part in the flying display as well along with some Russian aircraft and helicopters: the Yak-130, the Mi-8MSB and the Mi-17V-5.

Other interesting participants in static display were the Chengdu Pterodactyl-1 UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), the Kazakhstan Government Tu-134A and An-74, the MCHS Kazaviaspas (Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Kazakhstan) EC-145, Ka-32, Mi-26T and Mi-171E.

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The Aviationist’s Tony Lovelock had the opportunity to visit Kadex 2016 and take the photographs you can find in this post.

Sincere thanks for the hospitality and attention of the Officers and Staff from the Ministry of Defence of ther Republic of Kazakstan.

Image credit: The Aviationist/Tony Lovelock

There are conflicting reports on alleged clash between Russian and Israeli aircraft near Syria

Did Russian forces in Syria fire on Israeli warplanes?

Several Israeli media outlets said that Russian forces in Syria have fired at least twice on Israeli military aircraft in the last weeks.

Although no specific dates or locations for the incidents were given, it looks like these close encounters occurred as Israeli Air Force jets hit Syria to prevent suspected arms handovers to Hezbollah.

According to Reuters, Israel’s Channel 10 TV said a Russian jet approached an Israeli warplane off the Mediterranean coast of Syria last week even though there was no contact between them.

Probably referring to the same episode, Debkafile reported of a “near clash” between four IAF F-15s and two Russian Su-30SMs on Apr. 20: flying over the Med, the Israeli jets approached Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, in northwestern Syria, where the Russian Air Force contingent is headquartered, forcing the Russians to scramble two of their Sukhoi jets.

As of yet, the Kremlin has denied that Russian forces in Syria fired at Israeli military aircraft. It’s still not clear whether the “near clash” has occurred.

Image credit: Russian MoD

Video: Russian Su-30SM fighters escort Tu-160 bombers launching cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea

Fantastic footage of the Russian Su-30SMs escorting the Tu-160s over the Mediterranean Sea.

Between Nov. 19 and 20, two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers launched from northwest Russia for a 13,000km journey around Europe, to launch cruise missiles against ground targets in Syria.

During the mission, the aircraft were identified and escorted off UK by RAF Eurofighter Typhoons; however, the British interceptors in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) were not the only aircraft they met during their long mission: over the Mediterranean Sea they were intercepted and escorted by at least three Su-30SM Flankers launched from Latakia.

And here’s a really interesting footage showing the rendez-vous between the bombers and their escorts and the subsequent launch of cruise missiles (that seem to be KH-555s).