India’s newly acquired Rafale aircraft will be the cynosure of all eyes at this year’s Indian Air Force Day parade.
India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crores in September 2016. Known for their superiority in precision strikes, IAF’s current fleet of five Rafale fighters arrived at the Ambala Air Force station in the last week of July 2020.
Also known as Bharatiya Vayu Sena, IAF is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Officially established on 8th October 1932, the Government of India commenced Air Force Day celebrations every year, not only to commemorate a landmark event in the history of India, but also to create awareness about Indian Air Force’s role in national security. Needless to say, every Air Force station across the nation conducts the parade at their individual air bases on this day.
Two vintage aircraft of the IAF, the Tiger Moth and the Dakota, will also take to the skies at this year’s parade.
This year, the 88th anniversary of the Indian Air Force will be held at the Air Force Station Hindon, Ghaziabad. The event will open with a grand parade, followed by an investiture ceremony where a spectacular air display of various aircrafts will be performed by a squadron of paratroopers. These breathtaking air feats are the highlight of the day and is eagerly awaited and enjoyed by a wide-eyed audience present at the event, including millions watching the live telecast across the country.
Other than the Rafale aircrafts, the IAF’s main work horse, the SU30MKI, Jaguars, Mirages, MiG 29s, the newly acquired heavy-lift Chinooks and attack helicopter, the Apache, will be the other aircrafts being showcased during the air show to mark the Air Force day. Two vintage aircraft of the IAF, the Tiger Moth and the Dakota, will also take to the skies at this year’s parade.
Apart from this, the wreath-laying ceremony will pay tribute to the soldiers who have laid down their lives for the service of the nation. An oath-taking ceremony is another highlight of this occasion, where new brave hearts joining IAF are inducted with aplomb. Other than this, various awards and Medals of Honours are presented to the officers’ for their commendable performances in the previous year. After the conclusion of this exciting daylong event, a special get-together during the evening is organized where imminent dignitaries and veterans from the civil administration and armed forces grace the occasion.
The fourth largest air force in the world, IAF’s primary responsibility is securing the Indian air space and partnering with the Indian Army and Navy during armed conflicts. Their secondary responsibilities include delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief during national calamities. No wonder then, IAF is one of the prides of modern day India.