President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders hailed the air warriors on Monday on the occasion of the 86th anniversary of the Indian Air Force (IAF) as celebrations showcased the best of its machines and acrobatic skills of the personnel.
"We proudly honour our air warriors, veterans, and families of the Indian Air Force. They safeguard our skies with courage and commitment. The resilience, tenacity and zeal of our valiant air warriors is a source of pride for every Indian," President who is also the commander in chief of the armed forces said in a tweet.
Praising the brave warriors and their families Prime Minister Modi tweeted: "A grateful nation salutes our valorous air warriors and their families on Air Force Day. They keep our skies safe and are at the forefront of serving humanity in times of disasters. Proud of the Indian Air Force."
The air show at the Hindon air base, near the capital, began with flag-bearing sky divers of the Akash Ganga team dropping out of AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies that brought a rare visual treat for the visitors. The helicopter display team of the IAF, known as Sarang, showed off their skills as well.
Dakota DC-3 aircraft of 1940's vintage which recently inducted into the Vintage Aircraft Flight of the Indian Air Force flies with two Dorniers
Twenty-eight aircraft were on display, including a Dakota 1940 vintage aircraft that had served the Air Force for over 40 years were flown along two Dornier aircraft. The Dakota DC-3 aircraft inducted into service in 1940 was used till 1988. It was one of the most versatile transport aircraft of its time. The Boeing C-17 Globemaster, one of the recent acquisitions of the IAF, were also on display.
After the parade, visitors can see aircraft that are parked at the venue of the parade for the whole day. The Indian Air Force was born in 1932 as the Royal Indian Air Force under then British rule. The name was changed to Indian Air Force in 1950.
Meanwhile, coinciding with the IAF day, MiG-29 - has gone for an upgrade. After the upgrade, the Russian origin aircraft is capable of doing mid-air refueling and is compatible with latest missiles and can launch multi-dimensional attacks, Flight Lieutenant Karan Kohli, who is deployed at Adampur Air Force Station, said.
The aircraft played an important role as the Indian Air Force stamped its supremacy over the Pakistani force during the Kargil War of 1999.
Political leaders from all hues and ministers hailed the service of the IAF. Congress president Rahul Gandhi said "their valour and commitment" is an inspiration for all leaders. BJP President Amit Shah said the "bravery and commitment" of the Indian air force personnel to serve the motherland is unparalleled. " It is because of their dedication and courage that we are among the top air force in the world", Shah said.
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