New Delhi (NVI): The newly inducted Rafale fighter jet will participate in Republic Day parade for the first time on January 26 and will culminate the fly-past by carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’ formation, the Indian Air Force said today.
“The fifth formation is Eklavya comprising of one Rafale, two Jaguars and two MiG 29s which would be followed by three Su-30s in Trinetra fmn carrying out the traditional Trishul manoeuvre. Trailing Trinetra will be three Sarang helicopters lying in Vijay formation,” the IAF said in a statement.
“The flypast would culminate with a single Rafale Brahmastra that shall carry out a Vertical Charlie abeam the dais (show stopper),” it said.
A total of 42 aircraft including 15 fighters, 5 transport, 17 helicopters, 1 vintage aircraft of the Indian Air Force and 4 Helicopters of the Indian Army will participate in this years’ flypast.
The flypast would be flown in two blocks. The first block is planned along with the parade between 10:04 am to 10:20 am and the second block is planned after the parade between 11:20 to 11:45 am, the IAF said.
Block I comprising of three formations, would be led by Nishan formation comprising of 4 Mi17-V5 carrying the National flag and ensigns of the three services (timed 10 seconds ahead of Parade Commander). Following Nishan will be Dhruv, 4 aircraft formation of the Army Aviation Corps (timed with first Mechanised Column of the 1.A), as per an official release.
The third and last formation in Block is Rudra, which is commemorative of the Swami Vijay Jayanti of the 1971 war and comprises of single Dakota flanked by two Mi 17-1Vs in Vic formation (timed with the marching contingent from Bangladesh).
Block II will comprise of 9 formations. The first two formations would be Sudarshan and Rakshak. Sudarshan will comprise of one Chinook and two Mi 17-1Vs, while Rakshak would be led by a single Mi 171V with 4 Apache ac. Following Rakshak would be Bhim fmn of three C-130 aircraft. This would be followed by the Netra and Garuda fmns. While Netra is unchanged from last year, Garuda fmn will include a pair of MiG 29s along two Su 30MKIs formatting on a single C-17, it said.
The fifth formation is Eklavya comprising of one Rafale, two Jaguars and two MiG 29s which would be followed by three Su 30s in Trinetra fmn carrying out the traditional Trishul manoeuvre. Trailing Trinetra will be three Sarang helicopters flying in Vijay formation. The
fiypast would culminate with a single Rafale Brahmastra that shall carry out a Vertical Charlie abeam the dais (show stopper), as per the IAF release.
Pertinent to mention here that the Indian Air Force received the first batch of five Rafale jets in July last year. The first batch was received nearly four years after the Indian government inked a deal with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
The Rafales were inducted into the IAF amid India China border tensions in Ladakh theatre. Notably, the IAF has already deployed the newly inducted Rafale fighter jets along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh sector where the military is on its highest state of alert to deal with any misadventure by China.
In addition to the IAF tableau for Republic Day is being fabricated on a 50 feet long platform consisting of trailer towed by a tractor and would display the IAF motto ‘Touch the Sky with Glory’. It will showcase scaled down models of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter, Sukhoi-30 MKI and Rohini Radar.
Indigenously developed Rudram Next Generation Anti Radiation Missile (NGRAM) and Dhuravastra will be displayed on LCA and LCH respectively. Sukhoi-30 MKI will display the indigenously developed Astra and Brahmos Missiles. Indigenously developed Akash Missiles will be displayed along with the Rohini Radar.
The LCA is a single engine, fourth generation, multirole light fighter aircraft designed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Aircraft R&D Centre (ARDC) of HAL. The LCA is equipped with Air to Air Refuelling and New Generation Anti Radiation Missile (RUDRAM) which is the first indigenous anti-radiation missile of the country developed for Indian Air Force, the IAF said, adding that the missile will be a potent weapon for IAF for Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) effectively from large stand-off ranges.
The LCH is capable of high altitude operations and is armed with Dhruvastra anti-tank guided missile. Eight missiles can be attached to the helicopter with the help of 4 twin launchers. In addition, the helicopter can be equipped with 20 mm turret guns and 70 mm rockets, it said.
Rohini is Medium Range Surveillance Radar, for Air Space Surveillance to detect and track air targets under hostile EW operational environment. The system is deployed for early warning and also as a sensor for Akash SAM system.
Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defence system which has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like aircraft, helicopters and various other missiles. It is in operational service in the Indian Army as well, and finally, Astra an indigenously designed all-weather beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile is capable of engaging targets at varying ranges and altitudes.