New Delhi: With the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) taking its penultimate step before induction into the air force this month after being in the works for 27 years, India will showcase a trainer version of the fighter jet to the world, though on a tableau, at this year's Republic Day parade January 26.
The LCA, an indigenous fourth generation fighter jet, will be the main theme of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on its tableau at the parade, which will also see the army displaying its Russian-origin T-90S Main Battle Tanks (MBT) that will roll down Rajpath, an official said on Sunday.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will witness the parade as the Chief Guest this year.
The LCA had obtained it initial operational clearance January 10 this year and it is likely to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) over a year from now.
Another major attraction will be the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos cruise missile that has a target range of 290 km and is said to be only one of its kind that can touch supersonic speed up to Mach-3 (three times the speed of sound).
These apart, the IAF will put up a 25-aircraft fly past, including that of the front line Sukhois, Jaguars and MiG-29s, to blaze across the capital's skies this year. The army will have three indigenous 'Dhruv' Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) from its aviation wing joining the fly past.
The Republic Day parade's full-dress rehearsal was held at Rajpath in Delhi on Sunday, leading to the closure of main arteries of Lutyen's Delhi, inconveniencing a lot of people headed for the area.
"Marching contingents on the Rajpath would include mounted troops from 61 Cavalry, mechanised columns and eight regiments of the army, navy, air force, coast guard and other paramilitary forces," the parade's second-in-command and Deputy General Officer Commanding of Army's Delhi Area Brigadier Kuldeep Singh told reporters here.
The parade commander, as per tradition, will be the Delhi Area General Officer Commanding Major General Manvendra Singh.
The parade will be held for about an hour-and-a-half, beginning with the national salute and presentation of Ashok Chakra posthumously to Major Laishram Jyotin Singh who died fighting a suicide attacker in a terrorist strike on the Indian embassy at Kabul, Afghanistan a couple of years ago.
"The parade would begin with the three Param Vir Chakra awardees marching on Rajpath, followed by the mounted cavalry troops, mechanised columns and other marching contingents," Colonel AS Mahela, who briefed the media on the parade, said.