First Su-30SM And Su-35C Airplanes To Go To Russian Knights, Swifts
Russia's newest fighter jets will fly for the country's military demonstration teams before being deployed with combat units of the Russian Air Force, according to the service's commander Viktor Bondarev.
At a news conference on Monday, Bondarev said “When we wrap the preliminary troop tests of these two airplanes, they will be supplied [to the teams] on an advance basis.”
The Russian news service RIA Novosti reports that there are 50 Su-25C airplanes in the delivery pipeline for 2015, and 30 of the SU-30SMs slated for delivery by 2016. While Bondarev did not say specifically when the airplanes would begin flying with the demonstration teams, his remarks did reinforce comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin last week.
Russia's two demonstration teams, the Swifts and the Russian Knights, are currently flying MiG-29s and Su-27s, respectively. Pilots say that the jets, which are more than 20 years old, should no longer be in service.
Early media reports indicated that the teams would be assigned to fly YAK-130s, which is Russia's new combat trainer, but Bondarev said that there would be a new team formed to show off the capabilities of the YAK-130.