Flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth, who was among the first women to be inducted in the Indian Air Force (IAF) as fighter pilots, would also become the first female pilot to participate in the Republic Day parade.
Bhawana is listed as one of the flyers in the IAF contingent for the January 26 ceremonial event. For the 28-year-old, being part of the R-Day parade is a dream which is set to come true.
"I had been watching the Republic Day parade on television and now I am going to be a part of it. It is a matter of pride for me," New Indian Express quoted Bhawana as saying.
Bhawana, who belongs to Bihar's Darbhanga, was inducted into the IAF in 2016 along with Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh. The Air Force began inducting female pilots for combat from 2015.
Bhawana joined the fighter squadron in November 2017, and turned operational in March 2018. She is currently posted at an airbase in Rajasthan where she flies MiG-21 Bison.
The IAF contingent at the Republic Day parade would include two of the newly inducted Rafale fighter jet aircrafts. One each of the elite jets would be flying in the Eklavya Formation and the Brahmastra Formation.
"The flypast will culminate with a single Rafale aircraft carrying out a 'Vertical Charlie' formation," IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Indranil Nandi said on January 18.