In keeping with a well-established tradition, the military parade in Moscow on occasion of the Victory Day celebrations included a flypast by 69 military aircraft, the number reflecting the fact that it is the 69th anniversary of V-Day.
A Mi-26 transport helicopter from the latest production batch escorted by four Mi-8MTV-5 transport/assault helicopters led the formation, followed by five Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters, a quartet of Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters and a quartet of Mi-35M attack helicopters. The heavy transports came first among the fixed-wing aircraft – an An-22A, followed by an An-124-100 and three Il-76MDs (all sporting Russian Air Force stars instead of the Russian flag for the occasion), plus an upgraded A-50U AWACS. Tactical jets came next in the form of four MiG-29SMT/MiG-29UBT fighters, four MiG-31BM interceptors, four Su-24M2 tactical bombers and four Su-34 tactical bombers. More ‘heavies’ followed – an Il-78M tanker leading a Tu-160 bomber in a simulated refuelling formation, then a trio of Tu-95MS bombers and a trio of Tu-22M3 bombers (including an upgraded Tu-22M3M). Next came a mixed formation of Su-34s, Su-27SM, Su-30 and MiG-29SMT fighters from the Lipetsk Test Centre, then a V formation of Su-25 attack aircraft, and, bringing up the rear, six more Su-25s trailing smoke in Russian flag colours.