Home/ News / India/  50 aircrafts including Rafale to participate in Republic Day celebrations, showcase unseen aerial formations

The preparations for the upcoming 74th Republic Day celebrations are in full swing as around 50 aircraft seem ready to showcase their aerial abilities during the celebrations at Kartavya Path. The aerial show will include nine Rafale aircraft and the Navy's IL-38, which according to a senior Indian Air Force (IAF) official, will be showcased for the first and perhaps for the last time.

The 50 aircraft will also include at least four from the Indian Army, the official added. "Four Rafale will be part of the Netra formation and four others in Vajrang formation with a C-130 aircraft, and one will perform the 'Vertical Charlie' at the end of the flypast," he added.

Navy's IL-38 has served the Indian Navy for around 42 years and is a maritime reconnaissance aircraft. "It will be showcased during the Republic Day celebrations here for the first time and perhaps the last time. It will be among the 50 aircraft that will take part in the event," the IAF official said.

Besides the IL-38 aircraft, the formations like 'Bheem' and 'Vajrang' will be showcased over the Kartavya Path for the first time.

During the press interaction in New Delhi, the IAF also unveiled the tableau which will be displayed during the Republic Day parade. The tableau which is themed "Indian Air Force: Power Beyond Boundaries" will showcase some of the major assets of the aerial force including some recent inductions.

Sqn Ldr Sindhu Reddy will lead the marching contingent of 144 air warriors, with three supernumerary officers, Flt Lt Ayush Agarwal, Flt Lt Tanuj Malik, and Flt Lt Pradhan Nikhil. The IAF informed that the tunes of the marching contingent will be played by the Air Force band contingent which includes 72 musicians and three drum majors.

Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar, who will lead the Air Force band contingent is participating in the Republic Day parade for the past 26 years and has the distinction of leading the contingent for 16 years.

"It is a matter of great pride for me to represent the IAF band for so many years and this year on the Kartavya Path. Major attractions will be tunes like 'Astronaut', 'Vijay Bharat', and as usual we will play 'Sound Barrier' followed by 'Ladaku'. During the Beating the Retreat ceremony, we will play old tunes also like 'Sare Jahan Se Acha'," Warrant Office Ashok Kumar said.

(With inputs from PTI)


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Updated: 18 Jan 2023, 11:27 PM IST
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