The August 1st Air Demonstration Team, China's first and best-known aerobatic flight display team, will stage its first overseas show in Moscow with J-10 jet fighters, which will fly outside China for the first time.
An unidentified number of J-10s from the aerobatic team left an airbase in northern China on Sunday morning and began their journey to Russia, according to a statement on the Defence Ministry's website on Monday.
The team will join its Russian counterpart at the MAKS 2013 International Air Show at Ramenskoye Airport from Aug 27 to Sept 1.
The J-10s will make stops on their way to Moscow, said a publicity official with the People's Liberation Army air force who is familiar with the mission and refused to be named.
Since it was established 51 years ago, the August 1st Air Demonstration Team, named after the date of the founding of the PLA, has presented more than 500 shows for 668 delegations from 166 countries and regions, but the Moscow tour marks the team's first show abroad, the statement said.
The team was initially equipped with J-5s and has been gradually updating the fleet. The home-built J-10 fighters made their initial appearance at the 7th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as the Zhuhai Air Show, in 2008.
The participation will help strengthen political ties, military trust and cooperation between the militaries of China and Russia, said Lieutenant General Zhuang Kezhu, commander of the air force of the Beijing Military Command.
Colonel Cao Zhen, commander of the August 1st team, told PLA Daily that its pilots have designed and practiced 21 maneuvers in accordance with the geographic characteristics of Ramenskoye Airport and the Russians' requests, and that the team has also prepared three show plans for different weather conditions.