From T-90 tanks and BMP-II infantry combat vehicles rumbling down Rajpath to fighter jets performing some breathtaking manoeuvres in the skies to flaunting indigenous rockets and missiles, India on Tuesday showcased its military might to the world during the 72nd Republic Day parade held at a time when India and China are locked in a border standoff in the Ladakh sector.
Military equipment displayed at the parade included the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, Pinaka multi-launcher rocket system, bridge layer tank T-72, Samvijay electronic warfare system and Schilka weapon system.
The Indian Air Force’s Rafales, Sukhoi-30s and MiG-29s—fighters that are part of the IAF’s muscular posture in the Ladakh theatre—were among the 42 aircraft that took part in the Republic Day flypast, which is the highlight of the parade. The Rafale jets took part in the parade for the first time.
Before the parade began, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to India’s fallen heroes by placing a wreath at the National War Memorial at India Gate. Defence minister Rajnath Singh, chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat, army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh were present at the memorial.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and several cabinet ministers were among the dignitaries who witnessed the parade.
The parade was led by Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, general officer commanding, HQs Delhi Area.