The Russian Knights, aerobatic team of Russian Air Force has received four brand new Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker-E+ multirole fighters constructed by the Komsomolsky-on-Amur Aviation Plant. The delivery ceremony took place on Thursday, the 7th of November, at the Kubinka Air Base.
The new Su-35s will complement the Su-30SM aircrafts thas been in operation for two years since 2016. Four Su-30SMs have been used so far and now the team received for more Su-35 as well. All of the Su-35S for Russian Knigths built under the 2019 program, manufactured by KnAAZ as part of a five-year contract for the supply of total of 50 Su-35S fighters signed by the Russian Ministry of Defense with JSC Sukhoi Company in December 2015.
According to the Russian Knights display team in response to our question: Russian Knights will use in same time the Su-30SM and the Su-35S, depend on airshows. Because of the new aircrafts the display program will be re-designed and improved. This change will take some time and we will able to see the results during the 2020 airshow season.
Interesting fact that the Russian Knights already owns five Su-35 (Su-27M) aircrafts from its first generation. The first variant of the Su-35 was designed by the USSR during the 1980s as an improvement on the Su-27 was known as the Su-27M. The Su-27M aircrafts also had the “canard” wings which is no longer in the current Su-35 versions.
The team received its Su-35s (Su-27M), but they used only a few times for solo display and since that all of these aircrafts are grounded in non-flyable condition.
The Russian Knights (Russian: Русские Витязи) formed on April 5, 1991 at the Kubinka Air Base and the Knights performed with six Sukhoi Su-27P aircrafts. Meanwhile the team got from the two seater version of the Su-27, the Su-27UB and operated mixed with the P versions. In the future the team will fly in the same notion where the next generation of the Su-27 aircraft variants the Su-30SM and the Su-35S will take the show…