Russian weaponry on show in Red Square parade

From trademark tanks and fighter jets to the latest, unrivalled missile defence systems – the Victory Day parade stages a military show right in the heart of Russia’s busy capital. RT takes a closer look at the defence technology in the spotlight.

Over 11,000 servicemen from all the branches of the Russian armed forces marched through Moscow’s central square to mark the 68 year of WWII Victory.

The V-Day parade has always been a prestigious event for the Russian corps – and that includes the choice of defence technologies developed in the country’s design bureaus, of which the finest are brought to the forefront.

The most modern make of the Russian “flying tank” T-90A has firmly taken its place at the parade. Not only does it make impressive stunts in the spirit of its fellow Soviet T-80 – it is the best equipped heavy machine for supporting infantry. T-90’s layers of protection include recently upgraded explosive-reactive armour and an infrared anti-tank missile jamming system. Its manoeuvrability, firepower and easy maintenance have made it the best-selling tank in the world.

Among the parade all-timers are Russian BTRs, or 8×8 amphibious armoured personnel carriers. This iconic machine has been baptized by fire in many ground operations, becoming not just a carrier, but a combat vehicle when needed. The featured BTR-82A is the latest production version with modern night vision and GLONASS navigation systems installed, as well as with improved engine power. About 30 countries currently have BTR-80 family vehicles in service.

The latest air defence technology is built into Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound) weapon system, which uses phased-array radars for both target acquisition and tracking. It is said to be able to shield civilian and military objects from all the existing and upcoming means of airborne threats.

The Mil’s long-time rival, Kamov design bureau helicopters with their distinctive coaxial rotor system buzz along next. The “Alligators,” as Ka-52 (“Hokum B”) attack helicopters were dubbed, have become world air show favourites for the unbelievable stunts their high manoeuvrability allows. In Russia, the Ka-52 and its predecessor Ka-50 “Black Shark” have been chosen as the Special Forces’ support helicopter, while Mi-28 has become the main army’s gunship.

Six Su-25 jets at the end spectacularly closed the Victory Day parade, drawing the Russian flag with collared bursts of smoke.