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First woman fighter pilot, Rafale jets to make Republic Day debut

India Today logo India Today 18-01-2021 Abhishek Bhalla
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera

Flt Lt Bhawna Kanth, amongst the first three women fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be part of the Republic Day parade this January 26. This will be the first time a woman fighter pilot will be part of the parade.

She will be the part of IAF tableaux contingent that will showcase the 'Make in India' initiative.

"Since my childhood, I have been watching Republic Day parade on television and it's a matter of pride that now I'm participating in it. I would love to fly other fighter jets, including Rafale and Sukhoi," she said.

Flt Lt Kanth was part of the first batch of three women fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force who joined in 2016.

She will be part of IAF Tableaux with a Make in India theme that will display the model of LCA Tejas, Light Combat Helicopter, Rohini Radar, Akash Missile and Sukhoi 30MKI.

Rafale jets to debut in R-Day this year

Meanwhile, the newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft will also feature in the Republic Day parade for the first time this year. The fighter jet will culminate the flypast by carrying out the ''Vertical Charlie'' formation, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Monday.

a fighter jet in the grass © Provided by India Today
Rafale fighters will take part in Republic Day parade. (PTI)

Vintage Dakota aircraft to be part of R-Day parade

The Dakota aircraft played an important role during the 1971 war and will be part of the display when a Bangladesh military contingent is also participating to commemorate the 50th year of Indian victory over Pakistan.

The IAF's vintage Dakota aircraft, flanked with two Mi-17 1V helicopters will be flying in Rudra formation at the time when the Bangladesh contingent will be marching past President Ram Nath Kovind's dais.

The IAF marching contingent will comprise four IAF officers and 96 air warriors. There will be 42 IAF aircraft and four Army Aviation helicopters taking part in the parade.

For the first time, 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.

(With inputs from PTI)

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