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IN PICS: IAF displays its might with Rafale, Apache, Tejas, and others during the annual Air Force Day airshow

IN PICS: IAF displays its might with Rafale, Apache, Tejas, and others during the annual Air Force Day airshow
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) showed off the might of its fighter jets and helicopters during the annual Air Force Day parade today.
  • IAF’s newest acquisitions, the Rafale fighter jets, were seen taking to the skies during the Air Force Day’s signature air show.
  • Other aircraft in the IAF’s arsenal — including Apache, Tejas, ‘Gajraj’ and others — also took to the spotlight to highlight their prowess.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) kicked off its 88th anniversary celebrations today amid border tensions with China as well as Pakistan. The signature IAF Parade was hosted at the Air Force Station in the outskirts of Delhi at Hindan.

Even though the events related to Air Force Day celebrations were scaled down due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this year — the IAF still put the best of the best on display.

“IAF is undergoing a transformational change. We're entering an era that will redefine aerospace power & conduct integrated multi-domain operations. I am delighted to command this elite force,” said Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria addressing the troops.

The parade was accompanied by an airshow of IAF's frontline warplanes like Rafale, Su-30MKI, Apache, Tejas, and 'Gajraj' to showcase lethal firepower of the armed forces branch. It also featured vintage aircraft like the Tiger Moth and Dakota DC-3.

Overall, 56 aircraft participated in the exercise — including 19 fighters and seven transport aircraft along with 19 helicopters.

Here are a quick look at the India’s might in the sky on display during the annual IAF parade:

The first squadron kicks off the Air Force Day 2020 parade, saluting RKS Bhadauria as they march past the Air Chief Marshal.

The first squadron kicks off the Air Force Day 2020 parade, saluting RKS Bhadauria as they march past the Air Chief Marshal.
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The indigenously produced attack helicopter, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Rudra, was seen flying overhead. Rudra is capable of a wide range of missions, including reconnaissance, troop transport, anti-tank warfare, and close air support.

The indigenously produced attack helicopter, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Rudra, was seen flying overhead. Rudra is capable of a wide range of missions, including reconnaissance, troop transport, anti-tank warfare, and close air support.
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After the Air Force Day 2020 parade, Chinook kicked off the air show. It is capable of carrying 11 tons. To display that capability one was seen carrying a 20-foot sea container and the other, a light fleet gun.

After the Air Force Day 2020 parade, Chinook kicked off the air show. It is capable of carrying 11 tons. To display that capability one was seen carrying a  20-foot sea container and the other, a light fleet gun.
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Next, the Mi-35 and four Apache choppers entered the air space in the Eklavya formation led by group captain Rajshekhar Reddy.

Next, the Mi-35 and four Apache choppers entered the air space in the Eklavya formation led by group captain Rajshekhar Reddy.
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The C-130J aircraft were seen in the Hercules formation. These aircraft have contributed to critical COVID-19 related missions in India as well as in the Maldives.

The C-130J aircraft were seen in the Hercules formation. These aircraft have contributed to critical COVID-19 related missions in India as well as in the Maldives.
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IAF integrated the C-130J aircraft into its fleet for Special Ops, HADR missions & air maintenance roles.

IAF integrated the C-130J aircraft into its fleet for Special Ops, HADR missions & air maintenance roles.
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In a group formation, the C-17 aircraft was seen leading with MiG-29 and two Su-30 KI on its flank as it soared above the air base.

In a group formation, the C-17 aircraft was seen leading with MiG-29 and two Su-30 KI on its flank as it soared above the air base.
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The C-17 is a high-wing, 4-engine, T-tailed military-transport aircraft. Nicknamed the Globemaster’, it is capable of carrying large equipment, supplies & troops both by day & night.

The C-17 is a high-wing, 4-engine, T-tailed military-transport aircraft. Nicknamed the Globemaster’, it is capable of carrying large equipment, supplies & troops both by day & night.
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Rafale finally makes its entrance in the Vijay formation flanked by two SEPECAT Jaguars and two Mirage 2000s.

Rafale finally makes its entrance in the Vijay formation flanked by two SEPECAT Jaguars and two Mirage 2000s.
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The IAF’s ‘Bison’ was seen in the Bahadur formation, leading with two MiG-29’s and 2 Su-30KI’s on its flank. The ‘Bison’ or MiG-21 is a supersonic air combat interceptor known for its agility and swift response.

The IAF’s ‘Bison’ was seen in the Bahadur formation, leading with two MiG-29’s and 2 Su-30KI’s on its flank. The ‘Bison’ or MiG-21 is a supersonic air combat interceptor known for its agility and swift response.
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The Rafale is a twin engine fighter aircraft powered by two M88-2 engines.

The Rafale is a twin engine fighter aircraft powered by two M88-2 engines.
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The first batch of Rafale fighter jets were inducted into the IAF at the Ambala Air Base on September 10.

The first batch of Rafale fighter jets were inducted into the IAF at the Ambala Air Base on September 10.
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The Rafale fighter jet flew in an ‘88’ pattern to mark the 88th anniversary of India’s might in the sky in honour of Air Force Day 2020.

The Rafale fighter jet flew in an ‘88’ pattern to mark the 88th anniversary of India’s might in the sky in honour of Air Force Day 2020.
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The maneuver also highlighted Rafale’s turning advantage, which is critical for the fighter to outrun its adversaries on the battlefield.

The maneuver also highlighted Rafale’s turning advantage, which is critical for the fighter to outrun its adversaries on the battlefield.
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The Rafale also blasted into the sky to perform the ‘Vertical Charlie’.

The Rafale also blasted into the sky to perform the ‘Vertical Charlie’.
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As Rafale vacates the air space, Su-30MKI enters the skies with a loop, tumble and yore.

As Rafale vacates the air space, Su-30MKI enters the skies with a loop, tumble and yore.
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Not to be left behind, the Su-30MKI also performs a ‘Vertical Charlie’.

Not to be left behind, the Su-30MKI also performs a ‘Vertical Charlie’.
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Next, India’s own Tejas fighter jet takes off to show its own set of maneuvers.

Next, India’s own Tejas fighter jet takes off to show its own set of maneuvers.
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Tejas is a Light Combat aircraft (LCA) manufactured by India’s own Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Tejas is a Light Combat aircraft (LCA) manufactured by India’s own Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
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It is an indigenously developed, single-engine, fourth-generation, high-agility, multirole, supersonic light combat aircraft.

It is an indigenously developed, single-engine, fourth-generation, high-agility, multirole, supersonic light combat aircraft.
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Part of India’s ‘transformer’ package, Tejas finally makes its landing.

Part of India’s ‘transformer’ package, Tejas finally makes its landing.
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But not everything is new and shiny. The vintage Dakota DC-3 aircraft was seen flying alongside two younger HAL-built Dornier Do 228 planes.

But not everything is new and shiny. The vintage Dakota DC-3 aircraft was seen flying alongside two younger HAL-built Dornier Do 228 planes.
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India’s oldest vintage aircraft dubbed the Tiger Moth also streamed the skies.

India’s oldest vintage aircraft dubbed the Tiger Moth also streamed the skies.
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​Tiger Moth is a single engine, twin seater, fabric covered British biplane designed in the 1930s.

​Tiger Moth is a single engine, twin seater, fabric covered British biplane designed in the 1930s.
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In World War 2 this aircraft operated in other capabilities including maritime surveillance and defensive anti-invasion preparations.

In World War 2 this aircraft operated in other capabilities including maritime surveillance and defensive anti-invasion preparations.
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Tiger Moth’s pilots were seen waving to the audience as they flew above the air base..

Tiger Moth’s pilots were seen waving to the audience as they flew above the air base..
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The air show was wrapped up by HAL’s Sarang helicopter display team.

The air show was wrapped up by HAL’s Sarang helicopter display team.
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The display team included India’s first woman display captain, team squadron leader Neha Kulkarni who was the co-pilot on Sarang 2.

The display team included India’s first woman display captain, team squadron leader Neha Kulkarni who was the co-pilot on Sarang 2.
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