Republic Day 2023: On January 26, 2023, the government will, as it does each year, organize a large Republic Day parade to highlight India’s cultural and military power.
This year is unique since it will mark the first Republic Day festivities held along the official boulevard after Rajpath was changed to Kartavya Path the previous year.
74th Republic Day
One of the largest contingents from the Indian Air Force will participate in the 74th Republic Day Parade and exhibit a mammoth fleet of fifty aircraft. The Rafale Fighter Jet will be one of these fifty aircraft, which also includes a range of helicopters, cargo planes, and fighter jets.
Indian air force
Rafale fighter jet at Republic Day
Nine Rafale aircraft will be on display by the Indian Air Force for the first time ever, and they will all take part in the grand flypast during the festivities, an indian air force official announced.
The most modern fighter in the Indian Air Force is a French fighter jet built by Dassault that can perform multiple roles. Rafale has participated in R-Day celebrations in the past, in 2021 and 2022, but this is the first time that a quarter of the whole Rafale fleet will participate in a flypast.
On July 29, 2020, roughly four years after India and France signed an intergovernmental agreement to purchase 36 of the aircraft for Rs 59,000 crore, the first batch of five Rafale planes arrived in India.
All 36 fighter jets from France have been delivered to India, and the IAF has formed two squadrons with 18 jets each, one in the north and one in the south.
When asked what else will be displayed for the first time during the flypast, the indian air force official responded that, in addition to the IL-38 naval aircraft, formations like “Bheem” and “Vajrang” would also be displayed above the Kartavya Path.
A C-17 aircraft will be flanked by two Su-30s in the “Bheem” configuration. A C-130 will then be flanked by four Rafale aircraft in the “Vajrang” configuration, he added.
“We had a similar setup during the IAF Day, but the C-130 aircraft was flanked by Su-30s,” the official remarked. The flypast will also feature aircraft formations from “Dhawj,” “Rudra,” “Baaz,” “Prachand,” “Tiranga,” “Tangail,” “Garuda,” “Amrit,” and “Trishul.”
All eyes will be on the Ilyushin 38 aircraft, a long-range observation and anti-submarine warfare aircraft that was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1977, in addition to Rafale. According to a senior IAF officer, the Navy’s IL-38 will be displayed at the event for the first and maybe final time.
According to him, the Indian Navy’s IL-38 maritime reconnaissance aircraft has been in service for about 42 years. “It will be displayed here for the first—and possibly final—time during the Republic Day festivities. It will be one of the 50 aircraft present at the event “indian air force official said.
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Known as the Winged Stallions, the IL 38SDs, the oldest maritime surveillance aircraft in the Indian inventory, will be decommissioned by the end of this year. These Russian-made planes will be replaced by the US-made Boeing P8.
Modern maritime surveillance and fixed-wing anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities were made available to the Indian Navy by the IL-38.
Five Ilyushin 38s were added to the Navy. The Indian Navy now has access to airborne long-range maritime reconnaissance capabilities, in addition to long-range anti-shipping, anti-submarine, search and strike, and electronic signal intelligence missions.