The Indian Air Force (IAF) put its might on display at the full dress rehearsal on Tuesday, ahead of the 83rd Air Force Day on October 8, at the Hindon air base in Ghaziabad.
The IAF had invited hundreds of children from various schools, apart from the families of officers and other dignitaries to the Hindon air strip on Tuesday.
Among the main attractions of the programme was the display of IAF’s aircraft inventory, which included some of the latest technologies like the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), multi-role French fighter Mirage-2000, deep penetration striker Jaguar and Russian fighters Mig-21, Mig-29 and the Sukhio-30 MKI which carries the Brahmos supersonic missile system.
Apart from the fighters and multi-role aircrafts, the air force also displayed the MI-17V helicopter, advanced light helicopter Dhruv, advanced jet trainer Hawk, Pilatus PC-7 turbo jet trainer, the indigenously-developed Rohini and the Indian Doppler Radar (INDRA) Mark II radar system that has the ability to detect friendly and enemy aircraft.
The parade began with a high-altitude jump by sky divers of the Akash Ganga team who took off from an AN-32 transport aircraft at an altitude of 8,000 feet and touched down at the air strip within minutes.
An added attraction was the ‘Vayu Sena band’ and the marching parade by officers and 253 air personnel, including women officers.
The rifle drills, one of the most awaited shows, was carried out by a team of air warriors. Carrying 5.5-kg bayonet-topped rifles, they performed nine drills with fine precision and timing. The drills included a manoeuvre where a team member threw his rifle into the air before moving forward, and the member following him caught the rifle without breaking formation.
Another drill that drew applause from the spectators was a tunnel formation wherein team members lined up in two queues facing each other and rotated their bayonet-topped rifles. The team leader then marched through the tunnel in such a manner that he didn’t come in contact with a single bayonet.
In keeping with the times, at the end of the rehearsal, schoolchildren and parents clicked selfies and photographs with the aircraft kept on display at the air force station.