Europe

Russian military shows off its elite aerobatic flying teams

  • The Russian military’s Strizhi (The Swifts) aerobatic team performs during an air show at the Kubinka air base outside Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 21, 2016. The Russian military’s elite aerobatic squadrons have marked their 25-year jubilee with an air show outside Moscow. (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov)

    The Russian military’s Strizhi (The Swifts) aerobatic team performs during an air show at the Kubinka air base outside Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 21, 2016. The Russian military’s elite aerobatic squadrons have marked their 25-year jubilee with an air show outside Moscow. (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Russian military’s Strizhi, The Swifts, and Russkiye Vityazi, the Russian Knights, aerobatic teams perform during an air show at the Kubinka air base outside Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 21, 2016. The two squadrons marked its 25-year jubilee with an aerobatics display that attracted enthusiastic crowds. (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov)

    The Russian military’s Strizhi, The Swifts, and Russkiye Vityazi, the Russian Knights, aerobatic teams perform during an air show at the Kubinka air base outside Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 21, 2016. The two squadrons marked its 25-year jubilee with an aerobatics display that attracted enthusiastic crowds. (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Russian air force officer sits with a boy in the cockpit of an Su-35 fighter jet after an air show at the Kubinka air base outside Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 21, 2016. The Russian military’s Strizhi, The Swifts, and Russkiye Vityazi, the Russian Knights, aerobatic teams marked their 25-year jubilee with an aerobatics performance that attracted enthusiastic crowds.  (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov)

    A Russian air force officer sits with a boy in the cockpit of an Su-35 fighter jet after an air show at the Kubinka air base outside Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 21, 2016. The Russian military’s Strizhi, The Swifts, and Russkiye Vityazi, the Russian Knights, aerobatic teams marked their 25-year jubilee with an aerobatics performance that attracted enthusiastic crowds. (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov)  (The Associated Press)

The Russian military's elite aerobatic squadrons have marked their 25-year jubilee with an air show outside Moscow.

The Strizhi (the Swifts) aerobatic team flying MiG-29 jets and the Russkiye Vityazi (the Russian Knights) operating the heavier Su-27 fighters performed Saturday before enthusiastic crowds at their home base west of the Russian capital.

The show included spectacular low passes and synchronous maneuvers showing off the jets' high thrust and maneuverability. The show culminated in a joint stunt with both teams flying together in one tight formation.

Russia's air and space forces chief, Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, said both aerobatic teams will soon re-equip to new jets capable of even more stunning aerobatics. Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has pushed forward a massive arms modernization program despite Russia's economic problems.