Vladimir Putin’s air force puts on spectacular show of strength with attack helicopters and fighter jets in Crimean exercises

  • Stunning pictures from Aviadarts 2016 contest captured jets showing off their accuracy as they soared in symmetry 
  • Helicopters darted effortlessly above dozens of glowing flares as spectators in awe watched from an airfield
  • The national leg of annual competition was hosted in Crimea for the first time in history by Russian Defense Ministry
Vladimir Putin’s air forces put on a breathtaking show of skill with attacker helicopters and fighter jets in a Crimean aviation competition.
Stunning pictures from the Aviadarts 2016 contest captured jets showing off their accuracy and aerobatics as they soared in perfect symmetry and darted between dozens of spectacular glowing flares.
The national leg of the annual competition, which was first held in Russia in 2013, was hosted in Crimea for the first time in history by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Stunning pictures showed a Kamov Ka 50 helicopter soar above dozens of flares in the Aviadarts 2016 competition in Crimea
Stunning pictures showed a Kamov Ka 50 helicopter soar above dozens of flares in the Aviadarts 2016 competition in Crimea
Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets from the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian knights) aerobatic team showing off their accuracy as they flew in perfect symmetry
Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets from the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian knights) aerobatic team showing off their accuracy as they flew in perfect symmetry
Vladimir Putin's air force put on a breathtaking show of skill, with a Kamov Ka-52 Alligator helicopter dipping down as a flurry of smoke enveloped it 
Vladimir Putin’s air force put on a breathtaking show of skill, with a Kamov Ka-52 Alligator helicopter dipping down as a flurry of smoke enveloped it
The national leg of the annual competition was hosted in Crimea for the first time in history by the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday
The national leg of the annual competition was hosted in Crimea for the first time in history by the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday

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This year’s competition, which is designed to test flight skills and precision shooting, is being held at Chauda testing ground in the eastern part of the Crimean peninsula.
The airshow saw helicopters showcasing their skill as they flew nose-first at the ground before dipping back up, mock cargo landing softly on the ground and aerobatic teams of jets soaring in unison at impossible angles.
Aerospace Forces Commander Col.Gen. Viktor Bondarev said the decision to host Aviadarts in Crimea was a ‘tribute’ to its citizens as it is the place Russian aviation was born.
He told Sputnik News: ‘The decision to hold such competition at the peninsula was made not coincidentally. This is a tribute paid to Crimea and its citizens, because this is the place, where Russian aviation has originated.’
He added that Chauda would be the first sea testing ground of Russian Aerospace Forces and would be used for both competitions and military drills. 
‘We will test this ground now, we will see how it will show itself during the competitions, to work in future both from the ground in direction of the naval targets, and from the sea in direction of the ground targets.’
Mil Mi 8 helicopters carried the national Russian flag (far left), and the Russian air force flag (far right)
Mil Mi 8 helicopters carried the national Russian flag (far left), and the Russian air force flag (far right)
Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets put on a display of precision as they dived out in all directions during the airshow 
Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets put on a display of precision as they dived out in all directions during the airshow
This year's competition, which is designed to test flight skills and precision shooting, is being held at Chauda testing ground in the eastern part of the Crimean peninsula
This year’s competition, which is designed to test flight skills and precision shooting, is being held at Chauda testing ground in the eastern part of the Crimean peninsula
One image showed mock cargo being dropped by an Ilyushin Il 76 and landing softly on the ground 
One image showed mock cargo being dropped by an Ilyushin Il 76 and landing softly on the ground
Nine Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets from the Russkiye Vityazi [Russian knights] aerobatic team tore through the skies 
Nine Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets from the Russkiye Vityazi [Russian knights] aerobatic team tore through the skies
This year’s competition on the national level is taking place until June 8, while the international leg of the contest will be held in August. 
Commander Bondarev revealed that the winners of the national leg would represent the Russian Aerospace Forces at the international point in the western city of Ryazan.
Crimean residents as well as visitors of the peninsula watched the spectacular free air display at the Chauda range. 
Access and security were organised by officials, meaning spectators could enjoy the action in striking high definition.
This year's competition on the national level is taking place until June 8, while the international leg of the contest will be held in August
This year’s competition on the national level is taking place until June 8, while the international leg of the contest will be held in August
Crimean residents as well as visitors of the peninsula watched the spectacular free air display at the Chauda range 
Crimean residents as well as visitors of the peninsula watched the spectacular free air display at the Chauda range
Aerospace Forces Commander Col Gen Viktor Bondarev said the decision to host Aviadarts in Crimea was a 'tribute' to its citizens as it is the place Russian aviation was born
Aerospace Forces Commander Col Gen Viktor Bondarev said the decision to host Aviadarts in Crimea was a ‘tribute’ to its citizens as it is the place Russian aviation was born
He added that Chauda would be the first sea testing ground of Russian Aerospace Forces and would be used for both competitions and military drills
He added that Chauda would be the first sea testing ground of Russian Aerospace Forces and would be used for both competitions and military drills
A majestic Kamov Ka-52 Alligator helicopter swept through the skies at the contest, which was originally held in Russia in 2013
A majestic Kamov Ka-52 Alligator helicopter swept through the skies at the contest, which was originally held in Russia in 2013
The competition comes as Putin warned that Romania and Poland could be caught in the ‘crosshairs’ of Russian rockets for hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security.
The Russian president said at the end of May that Moscow would be ‘forced to carry out certain measures’ against the European nations, at an Athens conference.
Earlier this month the U.S. military – which says the shield is needed to protect from Iran, not threaten Russia – angered Russia by switching on the Romanian part of the shield. 
Work is also going ahead on another part of the shield, in Poland.
‘If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,’ Putin told a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
‘It will be the same case with Poland,’ he said.
Putin did not specify what actions Russia would take, but he insisted that it was not making the first step, only responding to moves by Washington. 
Proving to be a display in patriotism, three Mil Mi 8 helicopters carried the national Russian flag and the Russian air force flag
Proving to be a display in patriotism, three Mil Mi 8 helicopters carried the national Russian flag and the Russian air force flag
Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets looked striking as they flew at an impossible angle, silhouetted against the smokey white skies 
Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets looked striking as they flew at an impossible angle, silhouetted against the smokey white skies
The pilot of a Kamov Ka 50 helicopter showed off their precision and accuracy as they flew between a flurry of flares
The pilot of a Kamov Ka 50 helicopter showed off their precision and accuracy as they flew between a flurry of flares
Four Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets, decked out in the national colours of blue, red and white, were just visible at one point through a thick cloud of smoke 
Four Sukhoi Su 27 fighter jets, decked out in the national colours of blue, red and white, were just visible at one point through a thick cloud of smoke
Putin’s latest warning comes as Russia successfully tested an anti-satellite missile capable of wiping out U.S. navigation, communications and intelligence devices.
The Nudol direct ascent missile was launched from a facility in Plesetsk, 500 miles north of Moscow, and was monitored by U.S. intelligence.
It is unknown whether the Nudol was fired at a target or just launched on a suborbital trajectory but the successful test represents a major milestone for Russia as it continues to modernise its strategic arsenal under President Vladimir Putin.
The developments have been shrouded in secrecy but Russian state reports have insisted that the Nudol is for defence purposes, describing it as ‘a new Russian long-range missile defence’. 
Access and security were tightly organised by officials, meaning spectators could enjoy the action in striking high definition
Access and security were tightly organised by officials, meaning spectators could enjoy the action in striking high definition
The fighter jets even flew at a steep vertical angle - while maintaining an effortless symmetry - during the air show 
The fighter jets even flew at a steep vertical angle – while maintaining an effortless symmetry – during the air show
The competition comes as Russia successfully tested an anti-satellite missile - the Nudol direct ascent missile - capable of wiping out U.S. navigation, communications and intelligence devices in May
The competition comes as Russia successfully tested an anti-satellite missile – the Nudol direct ascent missile – capable of wiping out U.S. navigation, communications and intelligence devices in May