India’s Sarang aerobatic team touch down in Russia for MAKS 2021

MOSCOW | The Indian Air Force has dispatched the Sarang display team to Russia for the first time, ahead of MAKS 2021, touching down at Zhukovsky Airport this morning (Tuesday 13th July)

Photo: Indian Air Force (via Twitter)

Images show the team’s aircraft being carried aboad a C-17 transport aircraft en-route to the Russian aerospace trade show, marking the team’s first visit to the country and the first participation of an Indian-built aircraft in the event’s flying display.

Formed in 2003 and based at Sulur AFS in Tamil Nadu, Sarang are the Indian Air Force’s secondary aerobatic team, flying four Indian-built HAL Dhruv helicopters. Their overseas debut came at the Singapore Airshow 2004, followed by a UK tour in 2008. Sarang have already performed at one event abroad this year in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as well as participating in Aero India, where they staged the world’s first combined display of jet-powered and rotary-wing display teams, flying with the Indian Air Force’s main aerobatic team, Surya Kiran.

Photo: Ministry of Defence, Government of India

MAKS 2021 is only the second major in-person trade airshow to go ahead since the coronavirus pandemic took hold last spring. Airbus will be bringing its A350-1000 to the event for the first time, but it is Russia’s own aerospace industry that will take centrestage, with the Sukhoi Su-35 and Su-57E expected to be highlights of the flying display. Participating teams will include the Russian Knights, Swifts, Russian Falcons and Berkuts from the Russian Air Force and the civilian First Flight aerobatic team.

The event will be held at Zhukovsky Airport on the outskirts of Moscow on the 20th-25th July.

Organisers had previously signalled their intention to host the Republic of Korea Air Force’s Black Eagles in 2021, which this website covered with some scepticism last year. With the Black Eagles currently busy in their home country and no further mention of the team in connection with MAKS 2021, these plans appear not to have come to fruition.