It’s a Knockout: Russia hosts Aviadarts competition for fighter jets in 1st ‘military Olympics’

The Falcons of Russia aerobatic display team during the international stage of Aviadarts-2014 air force competition in Lipetsk. © Artem Zhitenev
The international military aviation competition Aviadarts-2015 has opened in Russia as part of the Army Games, dubbed the “world's first military Olympics.” Military aircraft from four countries will compete in live ammunition shooting at specially constructed targets.

The international segment of Aviadarts-2015 got under way in central Russia’s Ryazan Region on Monday, with participants from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China welcoming each other ahead of the competition.

In a competition lasting until August 15, crews of fighter, bomber, ground attack, transport and long-range aircraft will take to the skies to demonstrate their flying and dogfight skills. Such fighter jets as Su-30 and Su-25, Mi-28 helicopters and Il-76 planes will compete in the precise shooting of rocket launchers and aircraft guns, directing at targets specially created on airfields for the games.

READ MORE: Bombs & rockets rain down, Russian pilots compete in aerial marksmanship (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Although live ammunition will be used, the organizers have said Aviadarts is not a war game, but rather a sporting competition, with winning crews to get medals and other prizes, including vehicles, RIA Novosti reported. Drones will be used to monitor the competitions.

A Ka 52 "Alligator" helicopter during demo flights at the Russian stage of the Aviadarts-2015 Flight Skills Competition in Voronezh. © Vladimir Astapkovich

The opening ceremony featured a parade and an address by the Chief Commander of the Russian Air Force, Viktor Bondarev. According to the event's organizers, who came up with the Aviadarts games three years ago, the competition has now grown to be part of the International Army Games. The "military Olympics" also feature such competitions as Tank Biathlon, Air Defense Battle, Safe Route games among combat engineers and Safe Environment among military chemists.

READ MORE: Russia hosts Tank Biathlon 2015: 13 nations attending, China brings own tanks

Over 50 crews from the four countries will take part in this year's Aviadarts, with 12 various types of aircraft and over 100 pilots participating, Russia's Defense Ministry reported, as cited by RIA Novosti. Three airfields in the Ryazan, Bryansk and Kaluga regions will host the games.

The judging panel will include moderators from the four participating countries. International monitors from 10 other countries, including Egypt, Venezuela, Bahrain, India and Slovenia will also be present at the event, with the Chief Commander expressing hopes they would also take part in the next games.