In a mighty display of military prowess, Russia's transport fleet carried out an air spectacle on August 2 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Russia’s Airborne Troops, also known as the Vozdushno-Desantnye Voyska, or VDV.
Check out some stunning images and footage taken from the display, involving three Ilyushin Il-76MD Candid airlifters, below.
Marking the 90th anniversary of the VDV
In order to mark the event, the four-engine transports flew from Migalovo Air Base in the Tver region, around 100 miles from Moscow where they performed a fly-over at a local training camp. During the fly-over, the aircraft dispensed hundred of infrared decoy flares in spectacular fashion.
The Russian Il-76MDs also commemorated the anniversary by dropping special forces paratroopers. As The Drive reports, the aircraft are capable of accommodating up to 126 paratroopers. These jets are also capable of dropping VDV armored vehicles and artillery attached to parachutes from high altitudes.
A display of missile threat protection
The Il-76MD, which goes under the NATO reporting name of Candid, has some impressive protection against missile threats: it can house optional SPO-10 Beryoza or S-3M Sirena radar warning receivers on the sides of the nose, as well as SPS-5 Fasol-1-I1 electronic noise jammers.
For the celebrations in Tver, the Il-76MD used its 96-round 50mm APP-50R launchers, which can be loaded with infrared flares or chaff cartridges, to put on quite the display of Russian military power, as can be seen in the videos and images above.