MOSCOW | The Russian Knights will recieve four Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E jets this month, according to Russian media reports.
The jets will be handed over at a ceremony at Kubinka Air Base, home of the Russian Knights and the Swifts, on Thursday 7th November. However, the team will continue to perform with the Su-30SM for the time being, with the Defence Ministry stressing that the new single-seat Su-35s will supplement the two-seat Su-30s, rather than replace them.
The Russian Knights flew the Su-27 since they were founded in 1991 until 2016, making their debut with the Su-30 at the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition 2017. In March 2019, it was reported that the team may upgrade to the Su-35, but it was not known how soon this may occur.
Russia’s second major jet aerobatic team, the Swifts, are also awaiting new planes. Their MiG-29A and MiG-29UB Fulcrums are to be replaced with MiG-35, but the timescale of the switch is not yet known. A third aerobatic team, the Falcons of Russia, already fly four Su-35 Flanker Es.