On Sunday morning India will showcase its military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress as it celebrates its 71st Republic Day celebrations.
It will be a great treat for the not only who will be present at the Rajpath but for those too who will be watching globally India’s might when it showcases Anti-satellite weapon-Mission Shakthi developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Army's battle tank Bhishma, infantry combat vehicles. While the Indian Air Force (IAF) will show its newly inducted Chinook and Apache helicopters, in addition to tableaux depicting Akash and Astra missiles, the Navy too will display models of its new ships and helicopters during the 90-minute long parade.
According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) there will be twenty tableaux-16 from States and Union Territories and six from various Ministries/Departments which will be depicting the country’s rich cultural heritage and economic progress. Through dance and music, the school children will convey age-old message of yoga and spiritual values, while the skies over Rajpath will be thundering with the air display by the IAF.
President Ram Nath Kovind will host this year's chief guest Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. The South American nation is the first from that region to establish diplomatic relations with India and today the relations between the two countries are based on a common global vision, shared democratic values and the ties were elevated to a strategic partnership in 2006.
What to expect tomorrow
Instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti, the Republic Day Parade ceremony will start with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the new National War Memorial near India Gate and paying tributes to the martyrs by laying a wreath.
Then he and other dignitaries will head to the saluting dais at Rajpath to witness the parade.
According to tradition the National Flag will be unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute.
The parade will start with President Kovind taking the salute.
General Officer Commanding, Headquarters Delhi Area will be the Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Asit Mistry.
Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the Parade Second-in-Command Major General Alok Kacker.
The Indian Army will have a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, eight mechanised columns, six marching contingents and fly-past by the indigenous Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters of the Army Aviation.
The main attraction in the mechanised columns include the Indigenously-developed Main Battle Tank of the Indian Army, T-90 Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) Ballway Machine Pikate (BMP)-II, K-9 VAJRA-T, Dhanush Gun System, newly-inducted five-metre Short Span Bridging System, Sarvatra Bridge System, Transportable Satellite Terminal and Akash weapon system.
The Parachute Regiment, the Grenadiers Regiment, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment, the Kumaon Regiment and the Corps of Signals. The Combined Band of the Armoured Corps Centre & School, Madras Engineers Group & Centre and Artillery Regimental Centre, the Combined Band of 11 Gorkha Rifles Regimental Centre, 39 Gorkha Training Centre, Kumaon Regimental Centre and Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre will be marching contingents of the Army.
Also for the first time on Republic Day Corps of Army Air Defence will be marching and will be followed by the Combined Band of Bengal Engineers Group & Centre, Brigade OF Guards Training Centre, 3 Electronics & Mechanical Engineers Centre and Madras Regimental Centre.
The Naval contingent will have 144 young sailors led by Lieutenant Jitin Malkat as Contingent Commander and will be followed by the Naval Tableau titled 'Indian Navy – Silent, Strong, and Swift'.
The IAF contingent, of 144 air warriors will be led by Flight Lieutenant Shrikant Sharma and their tableau will have scaled-down models of the Rafale aircraft, the Tejas aircraft, the Light Combat Helicopter, the Akash Missiles System and the Astra Missiles.
One of the main highlights will be the marching contingent of DRDO that will showcase Anti-Satellite Weapons (ASAT) – Mission Shakti. ASAT (Anti-Satellite) weapons play a critical role in providing the necessary strategic deterrence. Mission Shakti, India's first Anti-Satellite (ASAT) mission, was a major breakthrough in demonstrating the nation's Anti-Satellite technology.
The Air Defence Tactical Control Radar (ADTCR) will be shown.
The Indian Coast Guard marching contingent will be led by Deputy Commandant Gaurav Sharma.
The contingents of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Delhi Police and Border Security Force (BSF) will there. Also, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Boys Marching contingent will be led by Commander Junior Under-Officer Charandeep Singh Bhaduria. The Girls contingent will be headed by Senior Under-Officer Shreeshma Hegde.
The National Service Scheme (NSS) contingent comprising 148 volunteers will also take part. The Massed Pipes and Drums Band of the Indian Army will also be on display.
And, women bikers of CRPF will be performing daredevil stunts, led by Inspector Seema Nag who will be seen saluting while standing atop a moving motorcycle.
For the first time a "Tri-service Formation" is taking part and this will be followed by the 'Vic' formation of Chinook helicopters.
The Apache helicopters, Dornier aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, Netra, an Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft and the 'Globe' formation comprising three C-17 Globemasters are some of the other highlights.
There will be five Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and five MiG-29 Upgrade Air Superiority Fighters in 'Arrowhead' formation and the Trishul manoeuvre by Su-30 MKIs.
The parade will come to a close with a Su-30 MKI splitting the sky with a breathtaking 'Vertical Charlie' aerobatic manoeuvre.