For the first time the newly acquired French `fighter jet `Rafale’ will be flying in the Republic Day Flypast. In total 42 different aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be part of the flypast.
According to Wing Commander Nandi, there will a total of 42 aircraft and this includes 15 different fighters, there will be 05 transport aircraft, 17 Helicopters, and one Vintage aircraft of the IAF. (Photo source: Indian Air Force)
For the first time the newly acquired French `fighter jet `Rafale’ will be flying in the Republic Day Flypast. In total 42 different aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be part of the flypast. These fighter aircraft `Rafale’ which have been inducted in the IAF last year will be part of two different formations — `Eklavya’ and the second formation which will see a single Rafale flying is `Brahmastra’, which means weapons that can destroy everything.
Briefing the media persons ahead of the Republic Day Flypast on Jan 26, 2021, the official spokesperson of the IAF Wing Commander Indranil Nandi said, “In the first formation which will be mixed there will be a single `Rafale’ flanked by two Jaguars and two MiG-29. And the second formation will have a single `Rafale’ carry out Vertical Charlie.”
It is a formation in which the fighter jets fly at a low height, and pitch vertically. And then this is followed by a succession of rolls before stabilising.
What to look out for on January 26 in the skies?
According to Wing Commander Nandi, there will a total of 42 aircraft and this includes 15 different fighters, there will be 05 transport aircraft, 17 Helicopters, and one Vintage aircraft of the IAF.
Also, this year there will be 04 Helicopters of the Indian Army which will be taking part in the fly-past.
Fly-past in two Blocks
The flypast would be flown in two blocks.
Between 1004 to 1020 am on that day the first block is expected to fly along with the parade.
And the second block is planned once the parade is coming to an end and the flypast has been scheduled between 1120 to 1145 hrs.
What to look for in the First Block?
In Block I there will be three formations: Nishan formation comprising of 4 Mi17-V5 carrying the National flag and ensigns of the three services (timed 10 seconds ahead of Parade Commander) will be leading the parade.
This will be followed by Dhruv – there will be four aircraft formation of the Army Aviation Corps and this has been timed with the first Mechanised Column of the Indian Army marching at that time.
The last formation in Block I is Rudra which is commemorative of the Swamim Vijay Jayanti of the 1971 war. And it will have a single Dakota which will be flanked by two Mi 17-1Vs in `Vic’ formation and this has been timed with the marching column from Bangladesh.
There will be nine formations: Sudarshan and Rakshak will be the first formation. While Sudarshan will comprise of one Chinook and two Mi 17-1Vs, and Rakshak would be led by a single Mi 171V with 4 Apache helicopter.
This will be followed by Bhim formation of three 130 transport aircraft. And will come Netra and Garuda formations. According to the official spokesperson, Netra is unchanged from last year, and the Garuda formation will include a pair of MiG 29s along two Su 30MKIs which will be formatting on a single C-17.
The fifth formation will have one Rafale, two Jaguars and two MiG 29s and these will be followed by three Su 30s in Trinetra formation and will be carrying out the traditional Trishul manoeuvre. Then there will be three Sarang helicopters flying in Vijay formation.
The flypast would conclude with the show stopper a single Rafale Brahmastra that shall carry out a Vertical Charlie above the dias.