RUSSIAN KNIGHTS BACK WITH A BANG
OVER the past few days, residents and tourists would have seen four distinctively-liveried, sleek aircraft screaming across the skies and flying formations and deathdefying stunts.
Those who were here in 2013 would probably recognise the blue-white-andred of one of the world’s most famous aerobatics teams.
Yes, the Russian Knights are back with a bang at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (Lima).
It isn’t the familiar SU-27 Flankers they are flying this time. The Knights are debuting their new aircraft, the latest edition of the Flanker family, the SU-30SM, designated Flanker-C by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
The team, which has participated in hundreds of airshows since its formation in 1991, received eight of the aircraft in September and began training in December.
The Su-30SM fighters were manufactured and delivered to the team by Irkut Corporation.
The Knights had opted for the SU30SM after test flights in 2013, due to From Page 32
On static display, however, visitors can see all of the above, plus a few more from the civilian side of the aerospace industry. Highlights include the Fire and Rescue Department’s Mi-17 and AW139 helicopters, US Navy’s F/A18E/F Super Hornet, P-8 Poseidon and MH-60 Seahawk, a Russian Air Force IL-76, USAF KC-135 Stratotanker and Singapore Air Force’s F-15SG Eagle and AH-64 Apache.
Not to be left out is the maritime segment of Lima, which this time reverts to
A Russian Knights aircraft taking off.
its “supermanoeuvrability”, making it possible for pilots to master new figures for aerobatics deemed too risky for other aircraft. This is mainly due to the aircraft’s thrust vector control and advanced control systems.
Russian test pilot Vyacheslav Averyanov said the super agility also could provide superiority in short-range dogfights as it let a pilot use his armaments in quicker fashion.
“A fighter should have the ability to conduct long-range and short-range dogfights. If you are weak in one of the ways of dogfighting, your enemy will defeat you,” he said. the original format of being separated from the aerospace exhibition centre.
As always, the bulk of the ships on view will be from RMN, led by one of its two Scorpene submarines. This time, it is the turn of KD ‘Tun Razak’.
Making its debut will be the RMN’s new training ship ‘Gagah Samudera’, only recently commissioned. It will be joined by the training ship KLD ‘Tunas Samudera’, a sailing ship.
Also in the mix are KD ‘Inderasakti’, KD ‘Jebat’, KD ‘Kasturi’, KD ‘Lekir’, KD ‘Selangor’, KD ‘Perantau’, KD ‘Mutiara’,
Averyanov, who also mastered new flight modes on the SU-30MKI, the version of the SU-30MK family used by India, said the performance of the SU30SM would be familiar in Malaysia.
This is because the Royal Malaysian Air Force operates the SU-30MKM.
He said the features of both aircraft were practically identical, the difference coming only in terms of avionics.
Averyanov said the agility of the SU-30 family of aircraft was not the only advantage of the Flankers.
All versions, he said, were equipped with on-board radars with a phased array antennas, guaranteeing the destruction of air, ground and surface sister ships KD ‘Laksaman Tun Abdul Jamil’ and KD ‘Laksamana Hang Nadim’, KD ‘Perdana’, KD ‘Gempita’, KD ‘Kinabalu’, KD ‘Mahameru’ and MV ‘Mega Bakti’.
MMEA, meanwhile, will have five vessels on show, including its latest vessel, the new generation patrol craft KM ‘Bagan Datuk’, which it officially received on Wednesday. The others are KM ‘Marlin’, KM ‘Perwira’, KM ‘Pekan ‘and KM ‘Sugut’.
Other Malaysian agencies taking part are the marine police, Marine Russian Aerospace Forces commander-in-chief Colonel-General Victor Bondarev and Irkut president Oleg Demchenko meeting Russian Knights pilots at the ceremony to hand over the new SU-30SM aircraft last year.
targets located beyond the limits of the human eye.
Averyanov said he and the Russian Knights pilots consider the SU-30SM’s two-seat configuration an advantage since it provided better coordination in group flying and simplified the commissioning of young pilots.
“In any case, two chaps performing their mission (are) better than one,” he said.
He said the SU-30MK/SM family of aircraft was also a favourite of large countries and those with large coastal areas, due to its ability to conduct longrange Department and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, which will have its RV ‘Discovery’, a coastal research vessel, anchored off Tanjung Malai.
Various navies are also sending ships for the maritime segment. There are two ships each from the Pakistan and Indonesian navies, and a ship each from the Indian, Italian, Australian, Singapore, Thai, US, Philippine and Vietnam navies as well as one from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force.
The maritime segment will also have smaller craft on show, including a fast
“(This made it) quite logical that it was the Russian Navy’s option,” he said.
The SU-30SM is the only new fighter ordered by the Russian Navy, which began receiving them in 2014. Large numbers of the aircraft have also been delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces.
The total order from the Russian Defence Ministry for SU-30SM stands at 110 aircraft, with more than half that number supplied.
Since 2015, Irkut has also been supplying the Kazakh Air Force with SU-30SM aircraft. interceptor craft from Muhibbah Engineering, and a sea plane, the uniquelooking Wing-in-Ground ground effect vehicle called Airfish 8.
One of the main highlights of Lima 2017, however, will be the display of unmanned vehicles. Among these are the USAF’s MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), MMEA’s Fulmar UAV, Skyeton Aircraft’s ACS 30 UAV, MAST’s Teledyne autonomous underwater vehicle and Saab’s Seaeye remotely-operated vehicle for underwater operations.
Russian Knights training on a new flight demonstration programme for Lima 2017.
The Russian Knights aerobatics team’s new SU-30SM aircraft, decked out in the colours of the Russian flag.