The Indian Air Force’s newly-inducted stealth attack helicopter Apache and transport helicopter Chinook will take part in the Republic Day parade for the first time. The Indian Air Force’s tableau will also Indian Air Forceshowcase a model of the Rafale fighter jets.
The Indian Air Force’s tableau will also include the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), surface-to-air guided weapon Aakash missile and Astra missiles.
“The Republic Day flypast will comprise 41 aircraft of the IAF and four helicopters of the Army’s aviation arm. The aircraft types include 16 fighters, 10 transport aircraft and 19 helicopters. The flypast will be conducted in two phases,” a senior IAF official, quoted by news agency PTI, said.
The IAF official further said that Flight Lieutenant Shrikant Sharma will lead the 144-strong IAF contingent on Rajpath for the second time in a row, while Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar, an accomplished Drum Major, will front the IAF band.
Leading the ceremonial parade would be the ‘Ensign’ formation comprising four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an inverted ‘Y’ formation, also referred to as the ‘wineglass formation’.
They will flypast the dais, trooping the national flag and the ensigns of the three services. They will be followed by ‘Dhruv’ formation, comprising four Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of the Army Aviation.
The second and the main phase will commence after the end of the ceremonial parade. This will be led by ‘Rudra’ formation of three ALH Mk-IV WSI helicopters of the IAF, flying in ‘vic’ formation, the officials said.
The ‘Chinook’ formation will comprise three newly-inducted transport helicopters in ‘vic’ formation, a senior IAF official said.