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Spectacular flypast and airshow over Sukhna: The Tribune India

Spectacular flypast …

Tribune press service

Chandigarh, October 8

President Draupadi Murmu witnessed a spectacular flypast over Lake Sukhna on Saturday as part of the Indian Air Force’s 90th anniversary celebrations. This is the President’s first visit to City Beautiful since taking office in July this year. Additionally, this is the first time the Air Force Day parade and flypast has been held outside of the National Capital Region.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, Chief of Defense Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, Chief of Air Staff Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Haryana CM ML Khattar were among those present along with a host of civil and military dignitaries.

The “Aakash Ganga” team

  • The flyover began with a team of “Aakash Ganga” paratroopers in an AN-32 aircraft
  • Mi17 V5 helicopters have shown their ability to undertake firefighting operations using a “bambi bucket”; Mi17 IV helicopters performed helocasting
  • Rajnath Singh tweeted: “Best wishes to all the brave IAF Air Warriors…”

New combat uniform

  • Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari also unveiled a new combat uniform for the IAF
  • It has a digital camouflage pattern in lighter shades suitable for plains, deserts and hills
  • Beige colored boots; new design in lighter and stronger fabric comfortable to wear

Starting with the formation of the ensign with three Mi-17 helicopters flying over the tricolor and the flag of the Air Force, the flyover included almost all types of fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters from the IAF inventory. As many as 70 aircraft operating from eight airbases took part in the flyover comprising several configurations and maneuvers, with the new indigenous light combat helicopter Prachand making its first public appearance in a three-plane formation.

Specialized streams

The new operational branch will be primarily intended for the armament of specialized streams of surface-to-surface missile forces, surface-to-air missiles, remotely piloted aircraft and weapon system operators in twin and multi-crew aircraft. —Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari

Fighters included the Rafale, Su-30, MiG-29, MiG-21, Jaguar Mirage-2000 and Tejas. Two vintage aircraft, the Harvard and the Dakota, also made an appearance.

Prior to the flyby, a parachute jump by the IAF Akash Ganga Skydiving Team was performed. Earlier in the day, the air chief reviewed an impressive ceremonial parade at Chandigarh Air Base and took the salute as a trio of Mi-17 helicopters paraded the flag of the air force and three Rudra helicopters flew overhead in an aerial salute. The parade was commanded by Gp Capt Anup Singh.

Seven former IAF chiefs – Air Chief Marshal NC Suri, Air Chief Marshal AY Tipnis, Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswami, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, Air Chief Marshal FH Major, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhaduria – attended the parade. A large number of serving and retired officers were also present.

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