Rafale, T-90 Bhishma, INS Vikrant: Military Prowess On Display On 72nd R-Day
(This article is originally posted by the Hindustan Times)
India’s military might, cultural diversity and economic and social progress was on display at the Rajpath in Delhi on Tuesday as the country is celebrating its 72nd Republic Day.
In view of the prevailing coronavirus pandemic in the country, only 25,000 spectators are present during the parade, which will end at the National Stadium instead of going up to the Red Fort. The distance for the march has been reduced by 50 per cent.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the fallen soldiers by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial in the national capital. Union defence minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane, Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Indian Air Force chief (IAF) Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria were a part of the ceremony.
The major attraction of every R-Day celebration in India is the showcase of the country’s military capabilities.
This year, the newly-acquired Rafale fighter jets would participate in the flypast for the first time ever, the defence ministry said on Monday adding that other major attractions would include the display of T-90 tanks, the Samvijay electronic warfare system, Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets.
There will be 32 tableaux – 17 from states and Union territories, six from the defence ministry and nine from other Union ministries and paramilitary forces will be a part of the parade.
1. The Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) Rafale fighter jets would participate in the flypast for the first time ever. The jets would fly in a “Vertical Charlie” formation – where they fly at a low altitude, pull up vertically and conduct a roll before stabilising at a higher altitude. A total of 38 aircraft including Rafale and four planes of the Indian Army will participate in the flypast.
2. The IAF showcased models of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and indigenously developed anti-tank guided missile Dhruvastra on its tableau during the parade along with the scaled-down models of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet and Rohini radar on the tableaus, the ministry said. The contingent of the air warriors- led by Flight Lieutenant Tanik Sharma will comprise 96 airmen and four officers.
3. The Indian Army showcased its main battle tank T-90 Bhishma, the infantry combat vehicle BMP-II-Sarath, mobile autonomous launcher of the Brahmos missile system, multi-launcher rocket system Pinaka, electronic warfare system Samvijay among several others during the parade.
4. The country’s protectors of the waters – Indian Navy showcased the models of the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant and naval operations that were conducted during the 1971 India-Pakistan war. The naval contingent consisted of 96 sailors and four officers led by Lieutenant Commander Lalit Kumar as the contingent commander.
5. The Defence Research and Development (DRDO) had two tableaus at the parade- one which would showcase the LCA Tejas’ successful take-off aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and the second tableau which would display the full complement of the anti-tank guided missile systems.