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11:46 AM, March 6, 2017
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New Su-30SM for "Russian Knights" at Kubinka airfield (Image: Irkut Corp)

The ‘Russian Knights’ aerobatic team will operate new Su-30SM fighters at the LIMA’17 exhibition in Malaysia starting this month.

The flights in Malaysia will be the world premiere of the "Russian Knights" flying the new Su-30SM supermaneuverable multirole fighters.

"We currently train the Russian Knights to operate Su-30SMs; the pilots have already completed the full training course and mastered aerobatics," Commander in Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces Colonel-General Victor Bondare said in a statement Monday.

New Su-30SM fighters were manufactured for the Russian Knights by Irkut Corporation in late 2016. Earlier, this aerobatic team operated Su-27 and Su-27UB fighters, since being established in 1991.

Colonel Andrei Alekseyev, the chief pilot of the Russian Knights, discloses that the team is working hard on the new flight demonstration program. "We train practically every day, weather permitting," he says.

The pilots of the aerobatic team are highly appreciative of the new fighters.

"Su-30SM is an excellent aircraft. Currently, we are in the process of mastering this fighter. There will be many new elements with the use of supermaneuverability in the individual aerobatics. We will also add something new to the group aerobatics," Colonel Alekseyev says.

He also says that the combat capabilities of the Su-30SM are much better than those of previous generation fighters. Unlike most other aerobatic teams in the world, the Russian Knights fly serial aircraft completely retaining their combat capabilities.

Su-30SM epitomizes the further development of Su-30MKI fighters operated by the Indian Air Force and Su-30MKM fighters operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Large batches of Su-30SM fighters acquire the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Naval Aviation of the Russian Navy.

At the LIMA'17 exhibition in Malaysia, the Russian Knights will fly four Su-30SM aircraft.

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