In a Republic day of many firsts, the heavylift helicopter Chinook and attack helicopter Apache, made their debut flypast at the parade. Both the Chinook and the Apache helicopters were recently inducted in the Indian Air Force.
The Chinook helicopter can airlift diverse, heavy loads in remote locations. It is a heavy lift, twin rotor helicopter which has significantly enhanced the Indian Air Force's lift capability across a range of military and Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief or HADR missions.
The Apache stealth attack helicopter, on the other hand, is a versatile combat helicopter, capable of firing air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, rockets and front gun aided by a fire control radar which can unleash a lethal attack on the adversary.
The two newly-acquired helicopter fleet have provided the Indian armed forces a significant edge against the enemy on the battlefield.
Other aircraft that were part of the Republic Day parade flypast were the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, the Mi-17 helicopter, Dornier multi-purpose aircraft, the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, the DRDO Airborne Early Warning and Control System or AEW&CS, the C-17 Globemaster large transport aircraft, Jaguar fighter jets, upgraded MiG 29 superior fighter jets, and the Sukhoi Su-30MKI twinjet multi-role air superiority fighter jets.
The Air Force also showcased its might and glory with its tableau depicting scaled-down models of five systems recently added to its inventory -- Rafale aircraft, indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), surface-to-air guided weapon Aakash missile and Astra missiles.
Flt Lt Shrikant Sharma led the 144-strong IAF contingent on Rajpath for the second time in a row, while Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar, an accomplished drum major, led the IAF band. Flt Lt Gagandeep Gill and Flt Lt Reema Rai were the two woman officers who headed the contingent.
The flypast was conducted in two phases with 16 fighter jets, 10 transport aircraft and 19 helicopters.
Leading the ceremonial parade was the 'Ensign' formation comprising four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an inverted 'Y' formation, also referred to as the 'wineglass formation'. They were followed by the 'Dhruv' formation, comprising four Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of the Army Aviation. This was the first phase of the flypast today.
Watch | Fly past at #RepublicDay parade - 'Trishul' formation by three advanced light helicopters and 'Vic' formation of Chinook helicopters. #RepublicDayIndia#RepublicDay2020pic.twitter.com/vc55Iw76IX- NDTV (@ndtv) January 26, 2020
The second and main phase commenced at the end of the ceremonial parade. This was led by the 'Rudra' formation of three ALH Mk-IV WSI helicopters of the IAF, flying in 'vic' formation. The 'Chinook' formation comprised of three newly-inducted transport helicopters in 'vic' formation. Following them was the 'Apache' formation consisting of the latest attack helicopters of the Indian Air Force. The five attack helicopters flew in the 'arrowhead' formation.
Leading the fixed wing formations this year was the Dornier formation consisting of three Dornier aircraft in 'vic' formation. After this, the three C-130J Super Hercules flew past in 'vic' formation. This was followed by the 'Eye in the Sky- Netra' formation, comprising a single DRDO AEW&C aircraft flanked by two Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs.
#RepublicDay | 5 Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, in 'arrowhead' formation fly past at a speed of 780 kmph. #RepublicDayIndia#RepublicDay2020#RepublicDayParade- NDTV (@ndtv) January 26, 2020
More here: https://t.co/3r7TEZn7rSpic.twitter.com/MgfAIW0xGO
Then a formation of three C-17 Globemasters, in 'displaced trail vic' formation called 'Globe' formation flew past the dais, showcasing the IAF's heavy lift capabilities.
The Globe formation was the first fighter formation, the 'Jaguar' formation, consisting of five Jaguar aircraft followed in the arrowhead formation. This was followed by five MiG-29 superior fighter jets in a 'Fulcrum' formation.
#RepublicDay | Su-30 MKIs of Indian Air Force execute the 'Trishul' manoeuvre. The formation is being led by Group Captain Nishit Ohri. (ANI)- NDTV (@ndtv) January 26, 2020
More here: https://t.co/3r7TEZn7rS#RepublicDayIndia#RepublicDay2020#RepublicDayParadepic.twitter.com/KSlRcCBTSM
At the end was the 'Sukhoi' formation comprising three Su-30 MKI aircraft from Air Force Station Jodhpur, which showcased the famous Trishul manoeuvre, followed by a lone Sukhoi Su-30 MKI performing a 'Vertical Charlie' manoeuver.
(Inputs from PTI)