The newly inducted Rafale and vintage Dakota aircraft will be one of the major attractions during the Republic Day parade at Rajpath in Delhi on 26 January as they would be part of 42 aircraft taking part in the flypast.
In its first appearance at the Republic Day celebrations, Rafale fighter jets will do a “vertical charlie” to end the flypast and Dakota would be part of Rudra formation when the Bangladesh contingent would be marching on Rajpath. This is the first time the Bangladesh contingent would be marching on Rajpath.
A total of eight Rafale jets, manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation, have been inducted in Indian Air Force last year as India faces two front war situations.
The vintage Dakota aircraft played a crucial role in the liberation of Bangladesh and formation of Bangladesh Air Force and were used for air dropping Army troops in Bangladesh’s Tangail during the 1971 war.
“These two aircraft would be the major attractions this year,” said a senior IAF officer.
Apart from Rafale jets, Sukhoi 30s and MiG 29s – the fighter jets that are part of the IAF’s muscular posture in the Ladakh sector – would participate in the flypast.