Tag Archives: Victory Day Parade

Russia Rehearses Flyovers for Massive Moscow Victory Day Parade

First Parade Appearance for Sukhoi Su-57. Will MiG-31 Carry New Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile?

The Russian Aerospace Forces are well into rehearsals for what is arguably one of the most impressive conspicuous display of military might in the world: the annual Victory Day Parade in Red Square, Moscow to be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at 1000 Hrs. local.

This year’s Victory Day parade commemorates the 73rd anniversary of the Russian victory over Germany in WWII, a war in which Russia lost an estimated 20+ million military and civilian lives, the greatest loss of life recorded by any nation in a war. Each year the parade begins with the emotional ringing of the historic clock on the Spasskaya Tower at the Kremlin in Moscow.

One of the most spectacular parts of the Victory Day Parade is the massive fly-over of Russian military aircraft. This year’s aerial parade review is scheduled to include 63 aircraft. The Russian flight demonstration teams The Russian Knights and Swifts will account for 15 of those aircraft. The Russian Knights will fly 6 new Sukhoi Su-30SM aircraft and the Swifts will pass over in their 9 Mikoyan MiG-29 aircraft. The two teams generally fly a large, single formation.

A gigantic Tupolev Tu-160 White Swan long range strategic bomber will also participate in the flyover and has been seen during rehearsals in formation with 4 Tupolev Tu-22M3s. Video from a rehearsal flyover appears to show one additional Tu-160 at the back of an Ilyushin Il-78.

This year will be the first year the relatively new Sukhoi Su-57 5th generation fighter will participate in the fly-over. Two Sukhoi Su-57s in a new pixelated air-superiority camouflage scheme will take part in the flyover.

Russia will display two new small RPVs in the 2018 Victory Parade. (Photo: Ragulin Vitaly/Livejournal)

It will also be interesting to see if any of the four MiG-31s (NATO codename “Foxhound”) will be carrying the new Kh-47M2 hypersonic long range cruise missile referred to as the “Kinzhal”. Russian social media has suggested that at least one of the MiG-31s in the aerial display will carry a Kinzhal in the flyover.

Given the involvement of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the Syrian conflict and recent successes in the campaign this year’s parade is expected to bring out a large crowd.

The weather forecast for Moscow on Wednesday, May 9, is favorable according to the U.S. weather website Accuweather.com, with a high temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 Celsius) and clouds developing in the afternoon. The current forecast calls for a 21% chance of rain. Bad weather has played a role in the flyover demonstration before in the Victory Day Parade so conditions on May 9 are key to event being staged in its full version with both ground and aerial displays.

If you want to see the Victory Day Parade on Red Square you’ll need good connections. The coveted seats along Red Square are very difficult to come by. This area is generally reserved specifically for higher government employees, members of state govern ment, including President Vladimir Putin, military heroes and press.Internet resources suggest that, based on previous parade routes, one of the best places to see the ground portion of the parade (and presumably some of the flyovers too) is the Belorusskiy viaduct (Белорусский путепровод) on the Leningradskiy prospect.

An Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopter takes off for a rehearsal flyover as spectators watch. (Photo: Marina Lystseva/Livejournal)

Thank you to Mr. Vladimir Zinenko of the excellent Facebook page ВКС России for his assistance with this article.

Top image: two new Su-57s will fly over Red Square for the first time on Victory Day. (Photo: Chen Xiangyu/RussianPlanes.net)

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 71 Russian military aircraft fly over Moscow during Victory Day air parade

Military planes flying over Moscow rooftops on Victory Day

71 combat planes and helicopters flew over central Moscow to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two on May 9.

The air parade included most of the Russian “hardware” that took part in the Air War over Syria, including the Tu-95 Bear, Tu-22M3 Backfire and Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers and the Su-34 Fullback “multidimensional” fighters.

The flypast also featured the Il-76 and AN-124 airlifters, the Russian MiG-29SMT fighter jets, the “Kubinka diamond” made of MiG-29s of the Strizhi (Swifts) and Su-27s of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) as well as Mi-28Ns, Mi-35s and Ka-52 combat helicopters flying over the monument of Minin and Pozharsky at Red Square in Moscow.

Here’s an interesting video that shows all of them.

As a side note, the air parade was advertised with banners that had an F-15 painted on them:

Victory Day 2016 F-15

Update: some Russian readers have pointed out that the above one is just an advertising of one of the political parties in the Bryansk city. So, surely, it is a funny designer mistake, bit it’s not connected with any of the officials participating in the parade.

Watch Russia’s Biggest Ever Victory Day Parade through Combat Aircraft’s GoPro cameras

A stunning view of the flypast over Moscow.

The following clip was aired by Zvevda, the Russian TV network owned by the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Filmed with GoPro cameras inside and/or outside Russian Air Force Yak-130s, Mi-28s, Ka-52s, Su-27s, Su-34s, Su-25s and Mig-29s the footage shows the biggest ever Victory Day parade over Red Square, on May 9, from a privileged point of view.