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China, Russia launch "Aviadarts-2014" int'l pilot competition

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MOSCOW (BNS): Fighter pilots from China, Russia and Belarus have kicked off the "Aviadarts-2014" air force competition in Western parts of Russia from Tuesday.

The contest is aimed at displaying precision-firing skills for unguided air-to-surface missiles and shooting ground targets with aircraft guns. It also involves testing of air navigation skills, air visual reconnaissance and single-plane or two-plane aerobatic flight skills among others.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has sent an aviation detachment and three Su-30 fighters to attend the competition being held in the cities of Voronezh, Lipetsk and at the Pogonovo testing range.

"This action facilitates the pragmatic cooperation between the air forces of China and Russia in military training field. The military cooperation between China and Russia is not targeted at any third party," the Chinese Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Russia's Western Military District will be represented at the final stage of Aviadarts-2014 teams flying a Su-34 fighter-bomber, a MiG-29SMT fighter jet, a Su-24M front-line bomber and Mi-8MTV-5 modernized transport technical helicopters, according to Ria Novosti.

The domestic portion of the contest started on May 21, at the Air Force Academy base in Voronezh and finished on May 26, at the Pogonovo air range in Lipetsk.

The international portion of the competition is to take place from July 22-28.

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