With domestic live fire exercises in late Mayearly June, the international phase of the ‘Aviadarts’ exercise drew additional participants this summer to augment the Russian hardware.
THIS YEAR’S INTERNATIONAL phase of the Russian ‘Aviadarts’ exercise (ARMI-2018) was held at Dyagilevo air base in Ryazan from July 29 until August 11. As per last year, it attracted visitors from three nations: Belarus, China and Kazakhstan. However the nature of the involvement changed significantly, with a significant deployment of Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) assets.
On July 21, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the initial PLAAF contingent had arrived at Dyagilevo including a pair of H-6K bombers from the 10th Bomber Division, 28th Air Regiment at Anqing, Y-9 transport aircraft and JH-7A tactical bombers from the 5th Ground Attack Division/15th Air Brigade at Weifang. A later arrival included PLAAF J-10 fighters. Deployment of the PLAAF H-6Ks and Y-9s marked the first time both types had been overseas to participate in an exercise.