The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation released a video recorded from one of the heavy Su-30SM (Serial Modernized or Flanker-H by NATO classification) fighters of the Russian Knights aerobatic team of the Russian Air Forces, while the team performed demonstration flights on the first day of the 15th Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA’2019) now taking place in Malaysia. The renowned aerobatics team ‘Russian Knights’ performed in tight formations and head-spinning stunts. The pilots demonstrated capacities of their aircraft in aerobatic flights done individually and in a group.
The Russian Knights (Russkkiye Vityazi) is an aerobatic demonstration team of the Russian Air Force. Originally formed on April 5, 1991 at the Kubinka Air Base as a team of six Sukhoi Su-27s, the team was the first to perform outside the Soviet Union in September 1991 when they toured the United Kingdom. Until 2016 Russian Knights flew Su-27 jets, Su-30SM have been flown afterwards. According to Andrei Alexeev, Russian Knights’ commander, the team may soon start using 4++ generation Su-35 aircraft. The Russian Knights is the only team in the world which flies heavy jet fighters.
The LIMA-2019 exhibition is taking place on the Langkawi Island on March 26-30. Russian Knights regularly take part in the annual show. Two years ago, the group chose the LIMA air show to stage its first-ever foreign aerobatic performance aboard the new Su-30SM planes. It has been held biennially since 1991 and is considered one of the largest shows of military equipment in the Asia-Pacific region. The event is co-organized by the Malaysian Defence Ministry.