The newly inducted Rafale and vintage Dakota aircraft will be one of the major attractions during the Republic Day parade at Rajpath in Delhi on January 26 as they would be part of 42 aircraft taking part in the flypast.
In its first appearance at the Republic Day celebrations, Rafale fighter jets will do a "vertical charlie" to end of flypast and Dakota would be part of Rudra formation when the Bangladesh contingent would be marching on Rajpath. This is the first time the Bangladesh contingent would be marching on Rajpath.
A total of eight Rafale jets, manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation, have been inducted in Indian Air Force last year as India faces two front war situations.
The vintage Dakota aircraft played a crucial role in the liberation of Bangladesh and formation of Bangladesh Air Force and were used for air dropping Army troops in Bangladesh's Tangail during the 1971 war.
"These two aircraft would be the major attractions this year," said a senior IAF officer.
Apart from Rafale jets, Sukhoi 30s and MiG 29s -the fighter jets that are part of the IAF's muscular posture in the Ladakh sector -- would participate in the flypast.
Apache attack helicopter and Chinook strategic heavy lift choppers, which have proved their mettle in the swift mobilisation of troops and logistics during India-China military standoff, will also be part of the Republic Day celebrations.
Further, Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth, one of the first women fighter pilots in the IAF, will be a part of the Republic Day parade, making her the first woman pilot to take part in the parade.
She will be part of the IAF's tableau, showcasing indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter Rudra, Rohini radars and BrahMos.
In addition to the 42 aircraft, there will be four Army Aviation helicopters taking part in the parade .
For the first time since its inception, the Republic Day parade at the historic Rajpath will culminate at the National Stadium instead of Red Fort and the number of spectators has also been reduced drastically to 25,000.
Also Republic Day celebration this year is going to be a low key affair, with no chief guest.
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