IAF exhibits its lethal firepower

As warplanes roared in the sky, on static display during the IAF's 78th anniversary celebrations was an awe-inspiring array of arsenal depicting India's aerospace power.
 
The display on the ground included some aircraft and armaments providing a glimpse of the IAF's lethal strike capability.

The equipment the included the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, MiG-29 air superiority fighter aircraft, MI-17 1V medium-lift helicopter, Dornier transport aircraft, Hawk Mk 132 advanced jet trainer, Mirage-2000, Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft, MiG-21 Bison and Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft, as also transporter and loading vehicles (TLVs) for the Russian-made Pechora missile.

The morning began amid loud cheers by thousands of spectators with skydivers descending from the sky carrying the IAF flag.

This was followed by by an impressive flypast even as the low visibility stole some of the spectacle from the show.

The airshow began with a spectrum formation by a Dornier aircraft flanked on each side by two Avros and two AN-32s.

The fighter flypast was led by three Jaguars in Vic formation closely followed by three Bison (Mig-21), Baaz (Mig-29), Vajra (Mirage 2000) aircraft and a SU-30 MKI plane.

As three Sukhois carried out a trishul formation with two peeling off while climbing into the sky, an SU-30 executed a mid-air four-turn Vertical Charlie maneuver.

The commentators then asked the spectators to fasten their seat belts as the "show-stoppers" emerged from the sky.

The four-chopper display by the Sarang team in the indigenously developed advanced light helicopter and the nine-aircraft Suryakiran aerobatic team enthralled the audience with their display of synchronized low-level maneuvering as a part of formation aerobatics.

The air display was operated and controlled by five different air bases of the Western Air Command.

A 17-member rifle air warrior drill team's performance with the motto "Drill to Thrill" was a display of clockwork precision and expertise in handling both the mind and a five-and-half kg 303 rifle in hand.

Prior to the airshow, a ceremonial parade was was conducted which the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik reviewed before taking the salute.

The parade is conducted every year to pledge the continued dedication of the IAF in its service to the nation and to reassure the countrymen of its vitality and preparedness.

Naik also presented 25 Vayu Sena Medals, including nine for gallantry, and 30 Vishisht Seva Medals on behalf of President Pratibha Patil, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces. He also awarded citations to four air force units for excellence in performance.

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