The Indian Air Force is celebrating its 88th anniversary today. Like every year, the IAF held a parade at the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad where it showcased its air power.
The key highlight this year is the newly-inducted Rafale fighter aircraft. During the ceremony, Rafale fighter jet carried out a minimum radius turn within an area smaller than a hockey field forming a figure of eight. Earlier this year, India received five of the 36 rafale fighter jets from France, as part of a 2016 deal worth Rs 60,000 crores. It was the largest-ever defence deal signed by India.
Even, Indian Air Force fighter jet carried out vertical charlie manoeuvre at Hindon Air Base in Ghaziabad.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh attended the 88th Indian Air Force Day celebrations at Hindon airbase on Thursday.
IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria inspected the 88th Indian Air Force Day parade. Nishan Toli being led by Squadron Leader Shivangi Rajawat marched at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad on the occasion.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the 'brave warriors' of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on the occasion. "Many congratulations to all the brave warriors of the Indian Air Force on Air Force Day. You not only keep the skies of the country safe but also play a leading role in the service of humanity in times of disaster. Your courage, valour and dedication to protect Maa Bharti inspire everyone," PM Modi tweeted (roughly translated from Hindi).
President Ram Nath Kovind, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also extended their wishes on Air Force Day 2020.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday extended his greeting to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and its personnel on the 88th Air Force Day. Wishing the IAF, Singh added that the Centre is committed to enhancing its capabilities through modernisation and indigenisation.
"My felicitations and best wishes to the air warriors and their families on the occasion of Air Force Day-2020. Eighty-eight years of dedication, sacrifice and excellence mark the journey of the IAF which is today a lethal and formidable force to reckon with," Singh's tweet read.
Rajnath Singh said the country is "proud of its men and women in blue and salutes the prowess of the IAF as it stands ready to face challenges and deter adversaries". "The Nation is proud of its men and women in blue and salutes the prowess of the IAF as it stands ready to face challenges and deter adversaries. We remain committed to enhancement of IAF's combat capability through modernisation and indigenisation," he added.
The Defence Minister further said that he was confident that IAF will "always guard the nation's skies, come what may" and further wished them "blue skies and happy landings always."
The IAF was established on October 8, 1932, in undivided India which was under colonial rule. It was given the prefix "Royal" by King George VI for its contribution during the Second World War. The prefix was later dropped in 1950 when India became a republic.
(Inputs from Agencies)