Apache, Chinook to make debut at Republic Day flypast

New Delhi (IANS) Apache attack helicopters and Chinook heavy lift transport helicopters to fly in formation over Rajpath making debut at Republic Day flypast 2020, Indian Air Force (IAF) said Monday.

The force has inducted 17 of 22 Apaches worth Rs 13,952 crore and 10 of 15 Chinooks for Rs 8,048 crore till now and the Indian Army's contract for six Apaches for Rs 4,168 crore to be inked soon.

The force also said that the tableau will have model of Rafale fighter jets, which India is procuring from France. The tableau will showcase scaled down models of five systems namely recent addition to its inventory the Rafale aircraft, the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft and Light Combat Helicopter, Surface to Air Guided Weapon Aakash Missile system and the Astra Missiles.

In total, 41 Aircraft, 19 Helicopters, 16 fighters and 10 transport will do air display over Rajpath.

All aircraft will fly-in from the Rashtrapati Bhawan side and exit towards the India Gate at heights between 60 metres to 300 metres above ground level.

"The aircraft type include 16 fighters, 10 transport aircraft and 19 helicopters. The flypast will be conducted in two phases. Leading the Republic Day parade would be the 'Ensign' formation comprising four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in an inverted 'Y' formation, also referred to as the 'wineglass formation'," IAF Spokesperson Group Captain Anupam Banerjee told IANS.

They will fly past the dais, trooping the National flag and the ensigns of the three services.

They will be followed by 'Dhruv' formation, comprising four Advanced Light Helicopters of the Army Aviation. The second and the main phase will commence after the end of the surface parade.

This will be led by 'Rudra' formation of three ALH Mk IV WSI helicopters of IAF, flying in 'vic' formation.

This will be followed by 'Chinook' formation comprising of three newly inducted Chinook helicopters in 'vic' formation. Following them will be the "Apache" formation comprising of the latest attack helicopters of the Indian Air Force.

"The five aircraft would be flying in "arrowhead" formation. Leading the fixed wing formations this year would be Dornier formation consisting of three Dornier aircraft in 'vic' formation. After this, the three C-130J Super Hercules ac will fly in 'vic' formation," said the Group Captain adding that it will be followed by the 'Eye in the Sky- Netra' formation, comprising a single AEW&C flanked by two Su-30MKI's.

Thereafter, a formation of three C-17 Globemasters, in 'displaced trail vic' formation called 'Globe' formation will fly past the dais, showcasing the IAF's heavy lift capabilities.

Following the Globe formation is the first fighter formation, the 'Jaguar' formation, consisting of five Jaguar aircraft in arrowhead formation. This is followed by five Mig-29 Upgrade aircraft in similar formation, callsign 'Fulcrum'.

Thereafter, 'Sukhoi' formation comprising three SU-30 MKI aircraft from AF Station Jodhpur, will execute the famous Trishul manoeuvre.

"In this, the lead Su-30 would execute a vertical manoeuver on reaching in front of the dais while the flanking ac would split outwards forming a trident. The end of the parade will be marked by a single SU-30 MKI aircraft Flanker of the IAF, carrying out the signature 'vertical charlie' in front of the dais," he said.

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