India will be celebrating its 68th Republic Day on Thursday. The day is marked by a grand parade that takes place in the national capital.
The Republic Day parade will start with the salute of Parade Commander Lt. Gen. M.M. Narwane, GoC, Delhi Area.
The nation’s military prowess and achievements in different fields, state-of-the-art defence platforms, its diverse cultural and social traditions, and the government’s emphasis on self-reliance and indigenisation will be showcased before the public.
The highlights of this year’s Parade will be a 149-member UAE Presidential Guard, the Air Force, the Navy and Army contingent led by a UAE band consisting of 35 musicians marching on Rajpath and presenting a ceremonial salute to the President of India. The UAE military contingent is led by Lt. Col. Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli.
This year’s parade will also see some of the firsts to its credit. For the first time, a contingent of the National Security Guard (NSG), popularly known as the Black Cat Commandoes, will march-past the Rajpath.
The parade will also see the fly-past of three LCA Tejas Aircraft flying at a height of 300 m from ground in ‘Vic’ formation and the Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEW&C) developed by DRDO.
Sticking to the 67 years tradition of the Republic Day celebration, the colourful BSF Camel Regiment led by Deputy Commandant Kuldeep Seervi will take part.
The Indian Army’s missile firing capability, T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-2K, Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Weapon Locating Raddar ‘Swathi’, Akash Weapon System, CBRN Recconnnaisance Vehicle and Dhanush Gun System will be the main draw in the mechanised columns.
The grand finale of the parade will be a spectacular flypast by the IAF. The flypast will commence with the ‘Chakra’ formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Hercules’ formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in ‘Vic’ formation.
Trailing them will be the ‘Netra’ which is an Airborne Early Warning and Control System Aircraft also known as “Eye in the Sky”. It will be followed by the ‘Globe formation’ comprising one C-17 Globemaster flanked by two Su-30 MKIs.
Next in line will be the fighters, where five Jaguars will fly in Arrowhead formation, another five MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters will fly in Fulcrum style.
Then the breath-taking ‘Trishul’ formation comprising three Su-30 MKIs of No. 24 Squadron would fly over the Rajpath, and once in front of the saluting dais, the Su-30 MKI aircraft will split upwards, making a Trishul in the sky.
The flypast will conclude with another Su-30 MKI carrying out a ‘Vertical Charlie’ manoeuvre over the saluting dais.
The ceremony will culminate with the national anthem and release of balloons.