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Top pilots to fly Su-30SM jets over Moscow on Victory Day

The Russian Knights commander has said the group’s entire flight personnel have been retrained to fly the most advanced fighter jets

LANGKAWI ISLAND (Malaysia), March 22. /TASS/. The Russian Knights aerobatic group will fly the most advanced Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets at Victory Parade on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9, Air Force Commander and Aerospace Force Deputy Chief Lieutenant-General Andrei Yudin said on Wednesday.

The aerobatic group earlier flew one-seat Su-27 and two-seat Su-27UB fighter jets for air stunts.

"The Russian Knights pilotage group will fly the new Su-30SM fighter jets for performance in its full composition at the Victory Parade on May 9," the general said at the LIMA-2017 international maritime and aerospace show in Malaysia.

Currently, four Su-30SM fighter jets have been prepared and are now demonstrating aerobatic maneuvers at the aerospace show in Malaysia. Six such planes will be prepared shortly, he added. The program of rearming the Russian Knights aerobatic group with Su-30SM fighter aircraft has been finished by now, he said.

Russian Knights Commander Andrei Alekseyev has said the group’s entire flight personnel have been retrained to fly the most advanced fighter jets.

"Each pilot from the Russian Knights group logs more than 200 flight hours annually. The overall flying rate of each pilot is 2,000-2,500 hours," the commander said.

The quartet of Su-30SM planes demonstrating aerobatic maneuvers at the Malaysia aerospace show has been prepared over just one month, he added.

The Su-30SM planes for the Russian Knights aerobatic group have been produced and delivered by Irkut Aircraft Corporation. As Irkut President Oleg Demchenko told journalists, a decision on the delivery of the most advanced combat planes was made jointly with the Air Force command.

"The planes were delivered as part of the state defense order. Instead of a combatant forces unit that was earlier expected to receive these fighter jets, the Su-30SMs were delivered to the Russian Knights," Demchenko said.

The Russian Knights are the world’s first pilotage group flying heavy fighter jets that retain the combat capabilities of serial-produced warplanes. The Russian Knights pilots staged their first aerobatic performance aboard the Su-30SM planes at the LIMA-2017 aerospace show in Malaysia. Overall, five Su-30SMs, including a backup plane, have arrived at the aerospace show.