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Chinook, Apache to take part in Republic-Day flypast; IAF tableau to showcase Rafale, Tejas

During the Republic Day parade, the IAF will also showcase its might and glory, with it 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.

Updated: Jan 14, 2020, 11.23 AM IST
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Chinook helicopter
Indian Air Force personnel walk next to a CH-47F Chinook helicopter at an induction ceremony at the Air Force Station Chandigarh in Chandigarh on March 25, 2019.
NEW DELHI: The newly inducted Apache attack and Chinook heavy lift helicopters will be participating in the fly past of the Republic Day for the first time.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) tableau for the Republic Day 2020 will showcase scaled down models of five systems, which will include the Rafale fighter aircraft. The first Rafale will arrive in India by May this year.

Meanwhile, the indigenously manufactured Dhanush artillery gun which was inducted into the army last year will be showcased for the first time during the Army Day parade in Delhi Cantonment on Wednesday. The army’s Special Forces will also demonstrate a simulation of entering the battlefield via helicopters and ground vehicles. The Special Forces contingent will be hitting a specific target such as a logistics dump and communication centre before being extracted by helicopters. Captain Tania Sher Gill, a fourth generation army officer, will be the first woman to lead an all male marching contingent during the Army Day parade. Last Year, Captain Bhavna Kasturi was the first woman officer to lead an all- men contingent on Republic Day.

The Republic Day 2020 flypast comprises 41 aircraft of the IAF and four helicopters of the army aviation wing, the IAF said on Monday. The aircraft types include 16 fighters, 10 transport aircraft and 19 helicopters. The flypast will be conducted in two phases. The second and main phase will be led by the ‘Rudra’ formation of three armed versions of the Advanced Light Helicopters of the IAF. “This will be followed by 'Chinook' formation comprising of three newly inducted Chinook helicopters in 'vic' formation. Following them will be the ‘Apache' formation comprising of the latest attack helicopters of the IAF,” the IAF said.

The Chinook heavy lift helicopters were inducted into the IAF at Chandigarh in March last year. The IAF had signed a contract with Boeing in September 2015 for procuring 15 Chinook helicopters. The last batch is to be delivered by March this year. These helicopters will be deployed in India’s fronts with China and Pakistan. The IAF believes that the Chinook will redefine heli-lift not only in operations like inter-valley transport of troops and airlifting artillery guns, but also for humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief.

On the other hand, the battle-proven Apache attack helicopter was inducted into the Indian Air Force at Pathankot in September last year, boosting the IAF’s capabilities for conducting cross-border hits on terrorist launch pads and improving its strike packages with fighter jets. The IAF also has plans to deploy them in the eastern sector with China. It had signed a contract with the US Government and US aerospace major, Boeing, September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters.

Meanwhile, the IAF tableau’s during the parade will have the Rafale aircraft. The Rafale is a twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft and is equipped with a wide array of weapon systems. It will be employed towards air interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, close air support, deep penetration strike and maritime strike. So far four aircraft have been inducted, which are being utilised to further hone the skills of the IAF pilots in France.

For the Army Day parade, one of the main equipment on display will be the 155 mm calibre Dhanush artillery gun. The Dhanush was inducted into the army in April last year. The army is procuring a total of 114 guns, which will be deployed along the borders with China and Pakistan.
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