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Russian Air Force marks 100th anniversary

A Russian MoD photo.

MOSCOW (BNS): Spectacular flight display by a large number of fighter jets and helicopters over the sky of Zhukovsky air field near Moscow bedazzled spectators even as the Russian Air Force marked its centenary celebrations on Sunday.

The two-day aerial display programme began on Saturday with President Vladimir Putin and other Defence Ministry officials attending the event.

Foreign military attaches and some 80 foreign air force commanders, including Indian Air Force Chief N A K Browne,  also attended the event.

The show comprised a static aircraft display and an extensive demonstration flight programme by over 100 military aircraft, including the MiG-29, Sukhoi-25 and Sukhoi-27 jets.

The Russian Air Force's strategic bombers Tupolev-95 and Tupolev-160 also took part in the show along with transport planes and helicopters.

The newly-developed T-50 fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) also made a demonstration flight during the event.

Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force Commander in Chief Major General Viktor Bondarev announced that the air force would receive around 180 new combat aircraft and helicopters by the end of this year.

"The country's air force has already received several new Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback warplanes and will get another 12, along with Kamov Ka-52 Alligator and Mil Mi-28 Havoc helicopters, as well as trainer jets including 15 Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten aircraft," Bondarev was quoted as saying in a radio interview as reported by Ria Novosti news agency.

The aircraft to be supplied to the air forces will carry advanced navigation and other equipment and weapons "of significantly higher quality," he said.

Earlier on Saturday, President Putin had said that the country's air force would be armed with more than 600 new combat planes and 1,000 helicopters by 2020.

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