A single seat interceptor and air defence/ground attack Gnat aircraft were among a range of modern versions of frontline fighter aircraft up for display at Ghaziabad’s Hindon airbase on Wednesday as the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted full-dress rehearsals ahead of the 89th Air Force Day that will be observed on Friday.
IAF officers said that they are also commemorating 50 years of the 1971 war between India and Pakistan as ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’. The Gnat aircraft was specially showcased at the Hindon airbase as it played a crucial role during the war.
“The 89th Air Force Day will be celebrated as ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’, where the IAF will try to commemorate the victory of the 1971 war. The Gnat aircraft is at static display; it is a tribute to the veterans and heroes of the 1971 war as we celebrate its 50th year,” said a spokesperson from IAF.
On Air Force Day, frontline fighter aircraft will be flying in from different airbases and converging at the Hindon airbase in different formations for the air show.
“Some of the formations are named after specific operations taken up in 1971 and also named after heroes, battles and instances of the war,” said the spokesperson.
During the full-dress rehearsal on Wednesday, the IAF showcased its strength by mixing frontline fighter aircraft with the newly inducted Rafale jets, which are the star attraction this time.