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Russia to employ Kinzhal hypersonic missiles at Aviadarts international competition

The systems will be used for the first time ever as part of the Aviadarts 2019 international competition

RYAZAN, August 9. /TASS/. Russia’s Aerospace Force will employ the Kinzhal airborne hypersonic missile systems for the first time at the Aviadarts competition of the International Army Games, the Army Games’ press office reported on Friday.

"During the Aviamix tactical episode that will be held at the Dubrovichi training range on August 10 as part of the Aviadarts 2019 international competition, the Kinzhal airborne missile system will be involved for the first time. MiG-31 planes will interact with MiG-31BM interceptor-fighters to provide cover for attack aircraft in destroying a battery of a notional enemy’s surface-to-air missile systems," the press office said.

MiG-31K fighter jets armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles are currently on experimental combat duty in Russia’s Aerospace Force. During its employment, a fighter jet boosts the missile and then discharges it, after which the Kinzhal fires its own solid-propellant engine and gains a speed of Mach 10. The missile is capable of maneuvering at such a speed and remains actually invulnerable to existing air and anti-ballistic missile defenses. The missile has an operating range of over 2,000 km.

Russia to involve other types of aircraft at Aviadarts competition

According to the Defense Ministry, Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets will for the first time ever provide fighter cover for the crews of Tu-22M3 and Su-34 aircraft in a bomb-dropping exercise during tactical episodes of the Aviamix competition.

The Russian combat aviation’s flights will also involve Su-35S, Su-30SM fighters, Su-34 bombers, Tu-22M3 long-range bombers, Mi-28N and Ka-52 helicopters and many other types of aircraft operational in Russia’s Aerospace Force. Overall, the Aviamix tactical episode will involve over 50 crews of operational-tactical, army and military transport aviation, including the Russian Knights, Swifts, Falcons of Russia and Berkuts (Golden Eagles) aerobatic groups.

The Aviamix competition will demonstrate aerial duels between Su-35S fighter jets, massive bomb strikes by Tu-22M3 and Su-34 aircraft, missile attacks by Su-25SM3 planes with various maneuvers, the landing of a tactical assault force from combat transport helicopters with the support of Mi-28N and Ka-52 attack choppers, the launches of missiles by a flight formation of Mi-28N ‘Night Hunter’ gunships and other episodes.

The teams from China, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia are taking part in the Aviadarts international Air Force competition this year.

The International Army Games 2019 are running on August 3-17. They involve teams from 37 countries numbering over 5,000 personnel. The competition program includes 32 contests at 21 training ranges on the territory of ten countries.