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Indian Air Force displays its largest aircraft formation at 73rd Republic Day parade

India's Dassault Rafale fighter jets. (Indian Air Force/Released)
January 29, 2022

This year, India’s national celebration of Republic Day included a behemoth air display through the Indian Air Force’s annual tradition of the flypast.

The 73rd Republic Day featured the biggest flypast ever in the history of the Indian Air Force, rising an aircraft formation similar to wartime. The flypast, which included the participation of 75 aircraft to mark the “Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav” celebrations, was designed to commemorate 75 years of independence.

This year, the viewers saw the cockpit of the aircraft on the screens at the parade venue, as well as during the broadcast. The flypast included Tangail formation, which saw one Dakota and two Dornier flying in VIC formation. This was a tribute to the Tangail airdrop operations of the 1971 War. There was also a Meghna formation of 1 Chinook and four Mi-17s.

The flypast concluded the parade at Rajpath with 17 SEPECAT Jaguar strike fighter aircraft flying in the “Amrit” formation. The Indian Air Force displayed the various type of aircraft in a formation over the capital of the nation, putting citizens in awe of spectacular aircraft.

During the celebrations, the IAF flypast began with the “Dhwaj” formation with four Mi-17 aircraft, followed by “Rudra” and “Rahat” formations with four and five Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), respectively.

Other formations included a series of fighters who displayed their might at the parade, including IAF’s brand new Dassault Rafale omni-role fighter with Indian Navy’s MiG29K Fulcrum, Boeing P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft and Jaguar fighter jets formed the group in the sky.

The frontline air superiority fighter Sukhoi Su-30MKI, MiG29UPG, and Mirage 2000H followed the flypast.

Being the fourth largest air power in the world, the Indian Air Force is considered one of the mightiest forces in the world, thanks to the deep-rooted experience of air doctrine and vast expertise in aviation combat. While the IAF is comprised of some of the best cargo planes and helicopters, the focus, as usual, was on the fighter jets.