LCA Tejas, NSG commandos steal the show at vibrant R-Day parade

LCA Tejas, NSG commandos steal  the show at vibrant R-Day parade

Tejas, the indigenous light combat aircraft, and commandos of the elite National Security Guard made their debut at the 68th Republic Day parade here on Thursday.

Before the ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and India Gate.

President Pranab Mukherjee posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peace-time gallantry award, to Havildar Hangpan Dada, who died fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir last May. Dada’s wife received the honour. As thousands of Delhiites braved the early morning cold and rain to witness the parade, thick clouds played spoilsport when it was time for a flypast.

The formation flying, comprising a C-17 Globemaster III and two Su-30 MKI fighter jets, was curtailed because of bad weather. C-17, the mammoth transport plane, was to be flanked by two Su-30 MKIs. But it was a lone C-17 that flew overhead, saluting the dais, contrary to the scripted live commentary.

This was because the two aircraft took off from different air bases. While the C-17 flew from Hindon near Delhi, the Su-30 MKIs started from Jodhpur. “They were to have a visual rendezvous before proceeding to the Rajpath in the formation.

However, the visual pick-up did not happen because of the cloud cover. The team leader in the C-17 decided to fly solo and the fighters went back to their base,” a source told DH.

Marching contingents
The flypast was preceded by several marching contingents, including those from the army, navy, air force, central paramilitary units, Delhi Police and National Cadet Corps as well as tableaux from several states and central ministries.

Folk artistes also danced on the Rajpath, representing India’s rich heritage and cultural diversity.

Among the first to march on the central boulevard was a 149-member tri-service contingent from the UAE Presidential Guards.

UAE contingent
Since Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, was the chief guest, the contingent from the UAE was included in the parade. 

The trend of foreign military participation began in 2016 when French army troops marched on the Rajpath. French president Francois Hollande was the chief guest then.

India also showcased its long-range artillery gun Dhanush, manufactured by the Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur, using the Bofors technology and advanced towed artillery gun (ATAG) system from the defence research and development organisation (DRDO) for the first time.

The DRDO’s air-borne early warning and control system Netra also made its maiden appearance.

Neither Dhanush nor the ATAG and Netra systems have been inducted into the armed forces.
DH News Service

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