The grand ceremonial parade marking India’s 75th Republic Day concluded in spectacular fashion as Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots showcased awe-evoking acrobatics during a fly-past. The display featured advanced light helicopters, including one Prachand helicopter and three Rudra helicopters, leaving spectators mesmerised at Kartavya Path.
The scintillating air show served as the grand finale of the ‘Platinum Republic Day’ function, featuring a total of 54 aircraft. Among them were three from the French Air and Space Force, 46 from the Indian Air Force, one from the Indian Navy, and four helicopters from the Indian Army. The dazzling performance left an indelible mark on the celebratory occasion.
A major attraction of the flypast was a “vertical charlie” manoeuvre by a single Rafale aircraft which carried out a series of rolls while flying vertical before disappearing into the blue skies.
The Prachand helicopter was flown by Lieutenant Colonel Ranvir Grewal followed by Major Rupesh Lamba, Lieutenant Colonel Ravi Bhatt and Colonel Nishant Pandey the contingent Commander in three Rudra Helicopters.
The ‘Prachand’ formation compsiing of one LCH ac in lead with two Apache helicoptes and two ALH Mk1V ac in echelon flew in five ac ‘arrow formation.’
The LCH Prachand stands out as the inaugural indigenous Multi-Role Combat Helicopter, crafted and produced by HAL. Renowned for its formidable ground attack and aerial combat capabilities, the helicopter boasts modern stealth features, robust armour protection, and impressive night attack capabilities.
The famous Tangail airdrop during the victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war was honoured during the Republic Day celebration, the Indian Air Force said.
The Indian Army carried out the Tangail Airdrop on December 11, 1971, as an airborne operation to take control of the Poongli Bridge and ferry in the Tangail region. One Dakota aircraft and two Dorniers flew in ‘Tangail’ formation to honour the historic occasion.
The heritage aircraft Dakota flanked by two Dornier Do-228 aircraft flew would be flying using a blended mixture of Aviation Turbine Fuel and Biofuel, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had said earlier.
The Republic Day parade also featured the weaponized variant of the ALH Dhruv helicopters, commonly known as the Rudra. They are also referred to as a flying tank. Demonstrating cutting-edge military technology, the Rudra formation the Indian Army Aviation Corps approached the saluting dais in the sky.
The Tangail formation was followed by the ‘Arjan’ formation comprised one C-295 aircraft in lead with two C-130J aircrafts in echelon flying in ‘Vic’ formation. The ‘Netra’ formation comprised one AEW&C aircraft and two X Su-30 aircraft in echelon flying in ‘Vic’ formation.
The ‘Varuna’ formation comprised one p-8i aircraft and two X Su-30 aircrafts in echelon flying in ‘vic’ formation. A C-17 aircraft with two Su-30 ac in echelon (streaming fuel) flying past in ‘Vic’ formation displayed the ‘Bheem’ formation.
The performance was followed by four X Tejas aircrafts flying past in ‘Diamond’ formation. This was followed by Amrit formation of six Jaguar aircrafts flying past over the water channel north of Kartvya Path in ‘Arrow-head’ formation.
The ‘Vajraang’ formation consisted of six Rafale aircrafts flying in ‘Marut’ formation. In the last leg of the fly past three Su-30 Mk-I aircrafts in ‘Trishul’ formation flew at 900 kmph over water channel north of Kartavya Path along with the IAF Marching Contingent.
Approaching the dais, the formation pulled up outwards for Trishul manoeuvre. After this one Rafale aircraft flying at 900 kmph pulled up for Vertical Charlie and carried out multiple turns.