Chinook, Apache to take part in R-Day flypast for first time; IAF tableau to showcase Rafale, Tejas
The IAF tableau
The Indian Air Force (IAF) tableau, to be showcased at the Republic Day parade, will comprise scaled-down models of five systems including Rafale aircraft and indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), Surface to Air Guided Weapon Aakash Missile system and air-to-air Astra Missiles. The tableau showcasing the theme of 'Indian Air Force: The Cutting Edge' will be fabricated on a 50 feet long platform.
The Rafale is a twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft, equipped with a wide array of weapon systems designed and built by Dassault Aviation. The aircraft will be employed towards air interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, close air support, deep penetration strike and maritime strike. The Rafale is referred to as a 'multirole' aircraft. So far, four aircraft have been inducted which are being utilised to further hone the skill of the IAF pilots in France.
LCA, popularly known as Tejas is a single-engine, delta wing multi-role fighter aircraft and will be used for engaging in combat missions, reconnaissance and interdiction roles.
The LCH is capable of operating upto an altitude of 21,000 feet and has recently test-fired an air to air missile. In addition, the helicopter is being equipped with 20 mm turret guns and 70 mm rockets.
Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defence system which can target aircraft at a distance of up to 30 kilometres and at altitudes up to 18,000 metres. It has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets and various other missiles. It is in operational service in the Indian Army as well.
Astra is an indigenously designed all-weather beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and is capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes, allowing for engagement of both short-range targets at a distance of 20 kilometres and long-range targets up to a distance of 80-110 kilometres. Astra has been integrated with Su-30MKI and will be integrated with Mirage 2000, Tejas and MiG-29 in the future.
Chinook makes a debut in R-day
Newly-inducted transport chopper Chinook will take part in the Republic Day flypast for the first time. The 'Chinook' formation will comprise three newly-inducted transport helicopters in 'vic' formation, a senior IAF official said. The Chinook, twin-engine, tandem rotor is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel. The helicopter can carry out military operations not only during the day but also at night too.
Following Chinook will be the 'Apache' formation consisting of the latest attack helicopters of the Indian Air Force. Apache stealth attack helicopters were inducted into the IAF in September last year, significantly boosting the force's firepower capability at a time when India faces complex security challenges, including cross-border terrorism.