National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 13 January 2020
Republic Day 2020 flypast comprises of 41 aircraft of the Indian Air Force and four helicopters of the Indian Army’s aviation arm. The aircraft type include 16 fighters, 10 transport aircraft and 19 helicopters. The flypast will be conducted in two phases. Leading the Republic Day 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 fly past 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 of the Army Aviation. The second and the main phase will commence after the end of the surface parade. This will be led by ‘Rudra‘ formation of three ALH Mk IV WSI helicopters of IAF, flying in ‘vic’ formation.
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 Indian Air Force. The five aircraft would be flying in ‘arrowhead’ formation. Leading the fixed wing formations this year would be Dornier formation consisting of three Dornier aircraft in ‘vic’ formation. After this, the three C-130J Super Hercules ac will fly in ‘vic’ formation.
This will be followed by the ‘Eye in the Sky- Netra‘ formation, comprising a single AEW&C flanked by two Su-30MKI’s. Thereafter, a formation of three C-17 Globemasters, in ‘displaced trail vic’ formation called ‘Globe’ formation will fly past the dais, showcasing the IAF’s heavy lift capabilities. Following the Globe formation is the first fighter formation, the ‘Jaguar’ formation, consisting of five Jaguar aircraft in arrowhead formation.
This is followed by five Mig-29 Upgrade aircraft in similar formation, callsign ‘Fulcrum‘. Thereafter, ‘Sukhoi‘ formation comprising three SU-30 MKI aircraft from AF Station Jodhpur, will execute the famous Trishul manoeuvre. In this, the lead Su-30 would execute a vertical manoeuver on reaching in front of the dais while the flanking ac would split outwards forming a trident.
The end of the parade will be marked by a single SU-30 MKI aircraft Flanker of the IAF, carrying out the signature ‘vertical charlie’ in front of the dais. All aircraft will fly-in from the Rashtrapati Bhawan side and exit towards the India Gate at heights between 60 metres to 300 metres above ground level.
IAF CONTINGENT FOR REPUBLIC DAY PARADE 2020
The Republic Day Celebrations will commence with the Homage Ceremony at National War Memorial where the Hon’ble Prime Minister will lead the nation in paying Homage to the Martyrs. An inter service guard will be commanded by Wing Commander Vipul Goyal.
The proceedings of RD parade at Rajpath will commence with the unfurling of National Flag and presenting of Rashtriya Salute to the Hon’ble President by the President’s Body Guards. Air Force being the coordinating service, the flag unfurling at the central dais on Rajpath will be done by Flying Officer Aman.
The Indian Air Force will participate in RD Parade with ceremonial Marching Contingent, Air Force Band Contingent, IAF Tableau and the mesmerising Fly Past. The IAF Marching Contingent will consist of 04 officers and 144 Air warriors marching in Box formation of 12 x 12. This year the IAF Marching Contingent will be led by Flt Lt Shrikant Sharma and 03 Supernumerary officers. The marching tunes for the contingent would be rendered by Air Force Band Contingent consisting of 72 musicians and 3 drum majors. The Band would be led by Warrant Officer Ashok Kumar who is an accomplished Drum Major. The Band would play many martial tunes to fascinate the audience i.e. Northern Border, Space flight, Astronaut, Vijay Bharat, Subroto and Air Battle etc. The famous Martial tune ‘Sound Barrier would be played on ‘Quick March’ in front of the main dais and when presenting salute to the Hon’ble President.
Air warriors participating in RD parade have been shortlisted and selected through a stringent process from pan Air Force. The IAF contingent undergoes an intensive practice session of 7-8 hours every day starting in the wee hours of the day i.e. 0400 hrs. Through continuous practice, the contingent is trained and oriented to display exemplary marching standards covering a distance of 14 Km from Vijay Chowk to Red Fort. The IAF has won the Best Marching Contingent in 2011, 2012 and 2013
The IAF band would also be giving performances at Red Fort from 26-31 Jan 2020 as part of ‘Bharat Parv’ functions. They would enthral the audience with their scintillating tun After the parade, ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony will be held at Vijay Chowk on 29 Jan 2020. 120 musicians of IAF will participate in ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony. The Conductor for BTR ceremony will be Flying Officer Rupachandra, Director of Music from the IAF.
IAF TABLEAU : REPUBLIC DAY PARADE 2020
Indian Air Force is the fourth largest and one of the most formidable and professionally acclaimed Air Forces in the world. It has a wide variety of weapon platforms and systems in its inventory, ranging from the legacy MiG 21 class of aircraft to the latest and state of the art Rafale aircraft.
The Indian Air Force endeavours to modernise and expand its inventory to effectively address threat perception emanating from the dynamic Geo Political Scenario. In pursuance of Govt of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and to reduce dependence on foreign OEMs, IAF is on a path of modernisation through indigenisation.
Traditionally the might of Indian Armed forces is showcased at the Republic Day. As always, this year too the IAF will be an integral part of the Republic Day Parade. The IAF Tableau will showcase scaled down models of five systems namely recent addition to its inventory the Rafale aircraft, the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft and Light Combat Helicopter, Surface to Air Guided Weapon Aakash Missile system and the Astra Missiles.
The Rafale is a twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft, equipped with a wide array of weapon systems designed and built by Dassault Aviation. The rafale will be employed towards air interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, close air support, deep penetration strike and maritime strike. The Rafale is referred to as a ‘multirole’ aircraft. So far four aircraft have been inducted which are being utilised to further hone the skill of the IAF pilots in France.
LCA popularly known as Tejas is a single engine, delta wing multi role fighter aircraft designed by Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It will be used for engaging in combat missions, reconnaissance and interdiction roles.
Light Combat Helicopter is an Indian Multirole helicopter developed by the HAL. The helicopter is capable of operating upto an altitude of 21000 ft and has recently test fired an air to air missile. In addition the helicopter is being equipped with 20 mm turret guns and 70 mm Rockets.
Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). The missile system can target aircraft at a distance of up to 30 km and at altitudes up to 18,000 m. It has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets and and various other missiles. It is in operational service in the Indian Army as well.
Astra is an indigenously designed all weather beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile developed by the DRDO. It is the first air-to-air missile developed by India. Its features include mid-course inertial guidance with terminal active radar homing. Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes, allowing for engagement of both short-range targets at a distance of 20 km and long-range targets up to a distance of 80–110 km. Astra has been integrated with Su-30MKI and will be integrated with Mirage 2000, Tejas and MiG-29 in the future.
The Tableau showcasing the theme of ‘Indian Air Force: The Cutting Edge’ will be fabricated on a 50 ft long platform.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.