42 aircraft to feature in Republic Day flypast, Rafale jet to be showstopper

ANI
Rafale combat aircraft fitted with a HAMMER missile. (File pic)
Rafale combat aircraft fitted with a HAMMER missile. (File pic)

New Delhi [India], January 19 (ANI): A total of 38 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft and four helicopters of the Indian Army will participate in the flypast at the Republic Day parade on January 26 this year.

The Public Relation Officer (PRO)of IAF on Monday said, "A total of 42 aircraft including 15 fighters, five transport aircraft, 17 helicopters and one vintage aircraft of the Indian Air Force will participate in this year's flypast. Four helicopters of the Indian Army will also participate in the flypast."

The formations that will be seen during the parade include 'Rudra', 'Sudharshan', 'Rakshak', 'Eklavya' and 'Brahmastra'.

"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 am to 11:45 am," IAF added.

The first block, comprising of three formations, would be led by Nishan formation comprising of four Mi17-V5 aircraft carrying the National flag and ensigns of the three services (timed 10 seconds ahead of Parade Commander).

Following Nishan will be Dhruv, a 4-aircraft formation of the Army Aviation Corps. The third and last formation in the block is Rudra, which is commemorative of the Swamim Vijay Jayanti of the 1971 war and comprises of single Dakota flanked by two Mi 17-1Vs in a Vic formation (timed with the marching contingent from Bangladesh).

The second block will comprise of nine 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-17-1V with four Apache aircraft.

Following Rakshak would be the Bhim formation of three C-130 aircraft. This would be followed by the Netra and Garuda formations. While Netra is unchanged from last year, Garuda formation will include a pair of MiG 29s along with two Sukhoi Su-30MKI formatting on a single C-17.

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 formation carrying out the traditional Trishul manoeuvre. Trailing Trinetra will be three Sarang helicopters flying in Vijay formation.

The flypast would culminate with a single Rafale under Brahmastra under formation that shall carry out a Vertical Charlie abeam the dais (shows stopper), said IAF.

Five Rafale fighter planes were formally inducted into the IAF in September last year. India is procuring the fighter planes from France. (ANI)