India

Apache, Chinook Helicopters To Debut At Republic Day Parade

Apache, Chinook Helicopters To Debut At Republic Day Parade

Republic Day 2020 will be attended by Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro.

New Delhi:

On 71st Republic Day, newly-inducted stealth attack helicopter Apache and transport helicopter Chinook will take part in the Republic Day flypast for the first time. A model of Rafale jet will be showcased as part of the Indian Air Force tableau.

During the Republic Day parade, the Indian Air Force will also showcase its might and glory, with its tableau depicting scaled-down models of five systems recently added to its inventory -- Rafale aircraft, indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), surface-to-air guided weapon Aakash missile and Astra missiles.

Flight Lieutenant Shrikant Sharma will lead the 144-strong Indian Air Force contingent on Rajpath for the second time in a row, while Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar, an accomplished drum major, will front the IAF band.  Flight Lieutenant Gagandeep Gill and Flight Lieutenant Reema Rai are the two woman officers who will be fronting the contingent right behind Sharma.

The Republic Day flypast will comprise 41 aircraft of the Indian Air Force and four helicopters of the Army's aviation arm. The aircraft types include 16 fighters, 10 transport aircraft and 19 helicopters. The flypast will be conducted in two phases.

Leading the ceremonial parade would be the "Ensign" formation comprising four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an inverted "Y" formation, also referred to as the "wineglass formation".

They will flypast the dais, trooping the national flag and the ensigns of the three services. They will be followed by "Dhruv" formation, comprising four Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of the Army Aviation.

The second and the main phase will commence after the end of the ceremonial parade. This will be led by ''Rudra'' formation of three ALH Mk-IV WSI helicopters of the IAF, flying in ''vic'' formation, the officials said. The "Chinook" formation will comprise three newly-inducted transport helicopters in ''vic'' formation, a senior Indian Air Force official said.

Following them will be the "Apache" formation consisting of the latest attack helicopters of the Indian Air Force.

The five attack helicopters will be flying in "arrowhead" formation.

The Chinook, twin-engine, tandem rotor is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel.

The helicopter can carry out military operations not only during the day but also at night too.

On Republic Day, India formally adopted the Constitution and became an independent republic. To celebrate this day, the President's bodyguard, a 200-strong cavalry unit -- draped in fine red coats, golden sashes and resplendent turbans -- escort the president to the stage at the Republic Day parade and give the order for the national anthem to begin. Attended by world leaders and beamed across the nation of 1.3 billion, the Republic Day parade in New Delhi showcases India's military might and is the premier state event of the year.