It is 90 years of Indian Air Force Day today. A grand stage is set for a host of activities signifying the glory, power and excellence of the Indian Air Force. In a historic first, the parade and fly-past of Air Force day have been moved out of the national capital region by the Indian Air Force.
This time Air Force Day fly-past is taking place over Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, which has already begin with an 'Aakash Ganga' team of paratroopers in an AN-32 aircraft. Thereafter, Prachand - the recently inducted indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) showcased its aerial prowess in a three aircraft formation. The 5.8-tonne twin-engine LCH is armed with air-to-air missiles, 20 mm turret guns and rocket systems. It is capable of destroying enemy tanks, bunkers, drones and other assets in high-altitude regions. 'Prachand' is developed by the state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
There is also an Aerial Display of a heavy-lift helicopter, Chinook in 'Bhim' formation. Nearly 80 military aircraft and helicopters will be participating in the Air Force Day fly-past. The light combat helicopter LCH which were recently inducted in the IAF will also showcase its air capabilities in the sky at Sukhna lake. Tejas, Sukhoi, MIG -29, Jaguar, Rafale, and Hawk will also be part of fly past.
President Droupadi Murmu and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are present at Sukhna Lake to witness the aerial show.
Three Mi-17 V5 helicopters will fly in an 'Ensign' formation after the arrival of Chief Guest President Murmu. The unit participated in Kargil operation. The recently inducted Light Combat Helicopter, the latest addition to the IAF arsenal flew in the sky.
Among other helicopters, Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, Apache and Mi-17 will be part of the aerial display along with Chinook.
Mi 17 V5 choppers will undertake a fire fighting operation using a 'bambi bucket' while Mi17 IV helicopters will be performing helo casting.
Three Mi-17 V5 helicopters will fly in an 'Ensign' formation after the arrival of Chief Guest President Murmu.
Several other aircraft including Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Sukhoi, Mig-29, Jaguar, Rafale, IL-76, C-130J and Hawk will be part of the fly-past.
Rafale, Jaguar, Tejas and Mirage 2000 will fly in 'Sekhon' formation - the formation dedicated to the IAF officer and Param Vir Chakra recipient, late Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon.
C-17 heavy lift aircraft and nine Hawk- 132 jets trained from the Surya Kiran display team will be part of the Globe formation.
An Mi-35 aircraft in lead with two Apache and ALH Mk IV helicopters will be part of the Eklavya formation.
An IL-76 and two AN-32 aircraft, will be part of the Big Boy formation.
C-130 J and Sukhoi-30 will be part of the Vajraang formation.
Airborne early warning and control aircraft and Sukhoi-30 and Mig 29 fighter jets will be part of the Netra formation.
IAF's vintage aircraft Harvard and Dakota will also make an appearance in the air show.
The Surya Kiran team comprising nine Hawk and Sarang helicopter display team comprising four Dhruv choppers will also perform.
The ceremony began with AIF parade and unveiling of IAF's combate uniforms and t-shirt - a newest addition to IAF.
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