Tejas fighter debuts at Republic Day parade
New Delhi, Jan 26 : India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) developed indigenously made their maiden appearance at the Republic Day parade here on Thursday.
Despite overcast conditions, three fighter jets flew at a height of 300 metres from ground at a speed of 780 km per hour in ‘VIC’ formation, leaving the spectators at Rajpath boulevard in awe.
The LCA was earlier flown at the Indian Air Force Day last year. It was also flown at the IAF’s fire power demonstration Iron Fist, Aero India, and the Bahrain International Airshow.
Indigenously developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency, and produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Tejas, as a fourth generation aircraft, can fly at 1,350 km per hour and is comparable to the world’s best fighters, including French Mirage 2000, American F-16 and Swedish Gripen.
The fighter jet was inducted into 45th Squadron of the Indian Air Force in July 2016 with two aircraft. The plan is to increase the production of aircraft from the present eight to 16 aircraft each year.
The AEW&C is an ‘Eye in the Sky’ and a force multiplier. The system consists of multiple sensors for surveillance and signal intelligence. It helps in air defence operations.
UAE military takes part in Republic Day parade
A 149-member UAE military contingent took part in India’s Republic Day parade here on Thursday, with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan watching as the Chief Guest.
The United Arab Emirates’ was the first marching contingent and marked the start of the annual colourful parade down the Rajpath.
They presented a ceremonial salute to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
The contingent comprised of the UAE Presidential Guard, the Air Force, the Navy, the Army and 35 musicians. Leading it was Lt Col Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli.
This is the second time a foreign military contingent took part in India’s Republic Day parade.
NSG commandos debut at Republic Day parade
India’s elite counter-terrorism force, the National Security Guard (NSG), on Thursday made its debut at the Republic Day parade here.
A contingent of some 60 commandoes in their black overalls and full armed gear marched on the Rajpath, giving ceremonial salute to President Pranab Mukherjee.
The other commandos were on seven vehicles with hydraulic ladders mounted on them.
NSG’s anti-hijacking van ‘Sherpa’ – a bullet proof armoured vehicle that can withstand powerful explosions and can be driven under water and on steep inclines – also made its debut in the parade.