New Delhi, January 26 : The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday conducted a fly-past comprising of nine separate formations of aircrafts-cum-helicopters and one Rafale carrying out a 'Vertical Charlie', during the Republic Day Parade.
'Rudra', the first formation, comprised of a Dakota aircraft flanked by two Mi-17 IV helicopters flying in 'Vic' formation. The formation was led by Gp Capt Menon and Wg Cdr SS Gehlot flying the Dakota aircraft. The 'Sudarshan' formation was next to approach the saluting dais, which consisted of one Chinook and two Mi-17 IV helicopters in 'Vic' formation flying at 160 Km/h at a height of 60 m. The leader of the formation was Gp Capt Siddharth Rawat.
The 'Rakshak' attack helicopter formation followed with one Mi-35 helicopter and four Apache helicopters in 'Vic' formation. The Apache helicopter is capable of firing Air to Air and Air to ground missiles, rockets and its front gun is aided through fire control radar. The formation which flew at 180 Km/h was lead by Gp Capt Raj Shekhar Reddy.
The 'Bhim' formation, led by Gp Capt Mandeep Chahal comprised of three C-130J aircraft in 'Vic' formation. C-130J is the special ops aircraft of IAF and it is capable of operating from remote places with short and semi-prepared surfaces. The first ever airlift of a COVID-19 patient was carried out by this aircraft.
Behind the Bhim formation came 'Netra' which had one Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft (AEW&C) aircraft flanked on either side by two Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft. The AEW&C was piloted by Gp Capt P Singh.
C-17 captained by Gp Capt P Sisodia accompanied by two Su-30 MKI aircraft formed the 'Garuda' formation which flew past the saluting dais after Bhim. One Rafale with two Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and two MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters, as part of the 'Ekalavya' formation were the next to fly past at a height of 300m and a speed of 780 Km/h. The formation was led by Gp Capt Rohit Kataria.
The next formation is the 'Trinetra' formation led by Gp Capt AK Misra comprising of three Su-30MKIs. As the aircrafts came over the dais, the formation split outwards and upwards, forming a 'Trishul in the Sky'. 'Vijay' comprising of three Advance Light Helicopters was the last formation in the fly-past.
The formation led by Gp Capt Girish Komar flew in 'Vic' formation streaming the colours of the Indian National Flag. Then a single Rafale aircraft flew at a speed of 900km/hr and carried out a 'Vertical Charlie', which culminated the parade. (ANI)