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IAF showcases Rafale, Sukhoi on 89th foundation day

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
October 08, 2021 17:25 IST
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Celebrating its 89th anniversary, the Indian Air Force on Friday put up a dazzling show with 75 aircraft, drawn from its vintage and modern fleet, performing skilful manoeuvres also marking the platinum jubilee year of India's Independence.


IMAGE: Visitors gather around IAF's Rafale jet during an air display on the occasion of 89th foundation day of the force, at Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad, on Friday, October 8, 2021. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

The air show at the Hindon airbase showcased Dakota, Dornier, LCA Tejas and Rafale fighter jets among other aircraft.

Some of the routines performed were a nod to the country's victory in the 1971 war.

IMAGE: Indian Air Force's Rafale jet during an air display. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

"A total of 75 aircraft took part in the air show today at Hindon airbase as part of the 89th IAF Day celebrations. The number is significant as it marks the 75th year of India's Independence.

"This was not announced earlier and we had kept it as a surprise package," a senior IAF official said.

IMAGE: IAF fighter jet Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fires flares during the air display. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhary in his address before the show, hailed the contributions of previous IAF chiefs for their visionary leadership and also saluted the brave warriors who have laid down their lives in the line of duty.

Touching on the modernisation plans of the IAF, the Chief of Air Staff pitched for 'creative and skilful' employment of new-age capabilities through the development of unique tactics and 'out-of-the-box' operational plans and training programmes to gain mastery over modern trends of aerial warfare.

IMAGE: IAF helicopter aerobatic team Sarang perform during the air display. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

India is marking the 75th year of Independence as 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' and a huge tricolour made of Khadi was displayed on the side of the tarmac.

This year is also being celebrated as 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh' which marks the 50th anniversary of the victory of the Indian armed forces in the 1971 war against Pakistan, which eventually led to the birth of Bangladesh.

IMAGE: IAF's flag bearing skydivers of the Akash Ganga team perform during the air display. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

During the aerial manoeuvres, some of the segments were a tribute to the valour of the Indian armed forces and supreme sacrifices made by many soldiers.

The air show began with an Aakash Ganga team of paratroopers delighting the spectators, after ejecting out of an AN-32 aircraft.

This was followed by a flight of a vintage Dakota from which three paratroopers emerged, in a nod to the Tangail airdrop during the 1971 war.

IMAGE: IAF personnel march past as IAF helicopters perform an air display during 89th foundation day of the force. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

Six Hunter aircraft made a 'Vinaash' formation to signify the decisive victory of India in the Battle of Longewala in 1971.

Other air displays that drew cheers from the crowd included aircraft flying in 'Rudra' formation, 'Meghna' formation that included two Chinooks, 'Eklavya' that included four Apaches, and a show by 'Sarang' helicopters and Surya Kiran flying team, and C-130J Super Hercules.

IMAGE: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari lay wreath at the National War Memorial on the occasion of 89th Air Force Day, in New Delhi. Photograph: PRO Defence

C-17 Globemaster, Su-30, Hawk, Jaguar, Mi-29 also took part in the dazzling show at the airbase that was decked up for the occasion.

In another nod to the 1971 war victory, 'Pratap' formation -- named after then IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chandra Lal -- was flown with a Dakota and two Dorniers.

IMAGE: Guests attend the IAF foundation day ceremony, at Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

Many vintage and modern aircraft were put on static display on side of the tarmac, facing the saluting dais.

These included Gnat, a single-sea interceptor and an air-defence and ground attack fighter, Chinook, Mirage-2000, ALH Mk3, LCA Tejas, Rafale, MiG-21 Bison, Apache attack helicopter, Jaguar, Su-30 and C-130J Super Hercules.

A 'Sekhon' formation named after IAF' Flying Officer Nirmal Jeet Sekhon who was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra -- India's highest gallantry award -- was also flown.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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