Russia Opens ‘Military Olympics’ With Aviation Competition

The competition has been christened Aviadarts-2015, and forms part of the larger Army Games taking place in Russia.

Aircraft and pilots from four countries will be put through their paces, shooting at specially constructed targets with live ammunition. Aviadarts-2015 started on Monday in Russia’s central Ryazan region, and features participants from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China, according to RT.

Russia Opens 'Military Olympics' With Aviation Competition

Various aircraft to compete in Russian skies

Until August 15, the skies over Ryazan will be filled by fighter, bomber, ground attack, transport and long-range aircraft showing off their aerial skills. It is thought that Su-30 and Su-25 fighter jets will be on display, along with Mi-28 helicopters and Il-76 planes, all of which will demonstrate their skill in shooting at targets with rocket launchers and aircraft guns.

Despite the fact that the aircraft will be firing live ammunition, the organizers insist that Aviadarts is a sporting competition rather than a war game. RIA Novosti reported that the winning pilots will be awarded medals and other prizes, such as vehicles.

Viktor Bondarev, Chief Commander of the Russian Air Force, addressed the crowd at the opening ceremony of the games, which also featured a parade. Since its inception 3 years ago, Aviadarts has grown in stature and become part of the International Army Games.

Aviadarts may feature new competitors next year

For the uninitiated, other events at the Army Games include Tank Biathlon, Air Defense Battle, Safe Route games between combat engineers and Safe Route games between military chemists.

RIA Novosti cites the Russian Defense Ministry, which stated that more than 50 crews are expected to take part in Aviadarts 2015, flying 12 different types of aircraft. Sorties will be flown from three airfields in the Ryazan, Bryansk and Kaluga regions.

The performance of the crews will be judged by moderators from each competing country. Observers from 10 more countries, such as Egypt, Venezuela, Slovenia and India, will be present during the games, and it is hoped that they will take part next year.

It may be argued that Aviadarts is another example of how Russian society is becoming increasingly militarized, and the gamification of military exercises is certainly not a traditional spectator sport.



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Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com