RPAF, RPN perform acrobatics and munitions demonstrations at Letograd Air Show
October 25, 2022
Yuri Shaposhnikov, senior military analyst
The Pelinese Armed Forces have officially opened this year’s rendition of the Letograd Air Show, allowing sightseers and aviation enthusiasts to observe the aircraft of the Royal Pelinese Air Force and Royal Pelinese Navy both up close and in action. Headlining events for Air Letograd 2022 include a mock dogfighting tournament between various squadrons from the RPAF and RPN, live demonstrations of dive bombings and N7L Crystal ALCM firings by the new Ae-16 Winterblossom, and another daring acrobatics display from the Royal Pelinese Air Force’s dedicated Radiant Squadron. Static displays for this year include, among others, an Ae-16 Winterblossom, an Ae-15 Orchid and Ae-15B Iris, and a To-91 Rowan.
The evening of October 25 concluded the first round of the dogfighting tournament, with the RPN’s Siren Squadron and the RPAF’s Seraph Squadron currently considered to be the top contenders. Eight teams have been eliminated so far, including the RPAF’s Shear Squadron, Blade Squadron, Regal Squadron, Dancer Squadron, Wren Squadron, and Prism Squadron as well as the RPN’s Razor Squadron and Wizard Squadron. Though analysts expected the RPAF and RPN to perform relatively equally, the RPN has taken the early lead due to the its higher training standards. The RPAF’s Seraph Squadron, however, has performed unexpectedly well in their production model Ae-16 Winterblossoms and are currently considered to be the greatest threat to the leading Siren Squadron. The RPN’s elite Luna, Fairy, and Wyvern Squadrons are currently engaging in joint military exercises on Zholtiya Zemla and were unable to participate in the tournament.
As another demonstration of Pelinese military capability, Ae-16 Winterblossom, Ae-15 Orchid, and Ae-15B Iris fighter aircraft all executed various bombing runs and missile firings. The Winterblossom and Iris in particular were heavily emphasized in the schedule and were assigned 87% of all munitions demonstrations during today’s proceedings. The aircraft deployed a range of weaponry against target boats in the Mediterranean Sea, including 30mm cannons, iron bombs, precision guided munitions, air launched cruise missiles, anti-tank missiles, and air to surface missiles. Winterblossom pilots also performed a variety of combat maneuvers as well as dive bombing runs against the targets in order to demonstrate the recently fielded aircraft’s performance to the Pelinese People and RPAF officers. Pilots of the Ae-15 and Ae-15B were additionally afforded the opportunity to intercept and shoot down maneuvering target drones with AAMs at standoff ranges for demonstration purposes.
Commentators believe that this year’s shift from primarily static displays and flights of historical aircraft towards live munitions demonstrations is motivated by the Pelinese military’s desire to illustrate the capability of its aircraft repertoire and gain international recognition and credibility in a region containing multiple major powers. A recently begun summit with Thalapadis has also been named as a possible factor, with some analysts speculating that the Pelinese government plans to offer it procurement contracts for one or more of the aircraft being demonstrated at Air Letograd.
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