Stunning Aerobatic Displays Add Colour to IAF Day
The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 85th anniversary with a stellar show in the skies by various aircraft at the Hindon Air Force Station, Ghaziabad. Indian Air Force was officially formed on October 8, 1932. The flypast included vintage aircraft, along with modern transport aircraft and fighter aircraft. The ceremony concluded with a scintillating aerobatic display.
The air display had commenced with flag-bearing skydivers of the Akash Ganga Team dropping out of AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies. IAF’s popular Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) also performed. The Surya Kiran team, which flies on Hawk jets, dedicated its display
to Marshal of Air Force Arjan Singh, who passed away on September 16. With vertical climbs, loops, turns and more, indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas left spectators spellbound as it flew over the Hindon Air Base. Poor visibility failed to play spoilsport for the indigenous fighter, the most recent one to join the Indian Air Force, as it took off right in front of the area where the parade was held, with a vertical climb followed by a loop. The ‘Vertical Charlie’ was meant to be a salute to the Air Force Chief, and the steep climb displays the aircraft’s ability to quickly climb to heights to combat enemy fighters. The fighter also showcased its slow flying capability at mere 125 knots speed, with a high angle of attack, which indicated the engine’s strength.
The IAF is buying 40 Tejas LCAs - 20 with Initial Operational Clearance and 20 with Final Operational Clearance. In addition, 83 more LCAs are to be bought, and this will make up for the requirement of single engine aircraft.
The first formation by the Surya Kiran team represented the Tejas, dedicated to The Surya Kiran those who created the world-class fighter in India. The other formations included Sukhoi, Rafale, Hunter and to everyone’s surprise in formation of a Gripen aircraft. Saab’s Gripen is one of the fighters incompetition as India is set to choose asingle engine fighter jet to be made under the strategic partnership model.
More colours were added to the display by the Sarang team, with their indigenous Dhruv helicopters painted with Peacockfeathers. The other aircraft that flew in the flypast included vintage Tiger Moth and Harvard aircraft, transport aircraft C-130, C-17, Embraer aircraft with AWACS, fighter jets Sukhoi-30, Jaguar and Mirage 2000.
Apart from Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa and top IAF officials, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is also the Honorary Group Captain in the Indian Air Force, were among those present at the Air Force Dayparade at Hindon Air Force Base.
Sachin Tendulkar wished the Indian Air Force personnel on the occasion. He posted a video on his official Facebook account, thanking the ‘Air Warriors’ for their sacrifices in order to serve and protect the people during war and peaceful times.
Tendulkar said in the video, “On the occasion of 85th Indian Air Force anniversary, I extend my warm greetings to all the Air Force personnel and their families. We truly appreciate your innumerable sacrifices which have served to protect us during war and peaceful times. And not to forget the relief measures you carry out during disasters.”
“Salute to our Air Warriors. May you touch the sky with glory. Jai Hind,” said Tendulkar, who became the first sportsperson to be made an Honorary Group Captain in the Indian Air Force.
Apart from Tendulkar, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the air warriors and extended greetings on the occasion. “On Air Force Day, I salute the valour, commitment and dedication of our brave air warriors. They safeguard our skies,” tweeted Kovind.
The Prime Minister tweeted, “On Air Force Day, best wishes to our courageous air warriors and their families. Their determination and prowess ensure that our skies are safe.”