Newly-inducted attack helicopter Apache and transport chopper Chinook will take part in the Republic Day flypast for the first time while a model of Rafale fighter jet will be showcased as part of the Indian Air Force’s tableau on January 26, officials said on Monday.
Defence Minister Rajanth Singh had participated in the official handover ceremony in France in October last year for the first Rafale combat jet acquired by the IAF.
Flt Lt Shrikant Sharma will lead the 144-strong IAF contingent on Rajpath for the second time in a row, while Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar, an accomplished Drum Major, will front the IAF band, the officials said.
“The Republic Day flypast will comprise 41 aircraft of the IAF 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,” a senior IAF official said.
The ‘Chinook’ formation will comprise three newly-inducted transport helicopters in ‘vic’ formation, a senior IAF official said.
Following them will be the ‘Apache’ formation consisting of the latest attack helicopters of the Indian Air Force.
(With Agency Inputs)