New Delhi: After a gap of about two decades, an indigenously developed aircraft will take to the skies on Republic Day with LCA Tejas joining the fleet of 35 aircraft that will be part of an aerial display.
Besides Tejas, which will lead the contingent of aircraft, the Republic Day parade will also see an array of flying beasts like Mi17 helicopters, Sukhoi Su 30 fighter jets, Advance Light Helicopter Rudra and military transport aircraft C-17 Globe Master.
The flypast is one of the major attractions at the parade as the sky warriors not only display the country’s air prowess, but also perform thrilling manoeuvres.
Marut was the last indigenous fighter aircraft to be part of the R-Day flypast in the 1980s and the 90s.
Designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Tejas was inducted in Indian Air Force’s 45 squadron ‘Flying Daggers’ in July last year.
The squadron is at present operating from Bengaluru, but will be moved to Sulur in Coimbatore.
Tejas was showcased in Bahrain air show in 2016 and made its debut on the Air Force Day in October last year as it roared through the skies over the Hindon air base.
The IAF tableau will focus on induction of women officers as fighter pilots and transformation of the force from platform-centric to network-centric operations.
Real-time transfer of data and images between air craft, UAVs, satellite and ground station for network operations will also be showcased.Its ceremonial marching contingent consisting of four officers and and 144 warriors will also be part of the parade.
In 2017, IAF’s marching contingent will be led by Sqn Ldr Attal Singh and three supernumerary officers — Flag Officer Tripti Chaturvedi, Flt Lt S S Mythraye and Flt Lt Drisya Nath.