Republic Day 2021 | Rafale jets to mark debut during Indian Air Force fly-past
The Republic Day celebrations this year will also mark the debut of the upgraded Schilka air defence system, which is a radar-based anti-aircraft weapon.
January 23, 2021 / 05:45 PM IST
Major General Alok Kacker
The country's newly acquired Rafale jets will feature for the first time in the fly-past by the Indian Air Force during Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
"The finale, the 'Vertical Charlie' manoeuvre, will be done by the Rafale aircraft this time," Major General Alok Kacker said on January 23 while speaking about R-Day celebrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to news agency ANI about the changes that have been introduced to the usual R-Day celebrations in view of the pandemic, Kacker said the Republic Day parade will end at the National Stadium this year instead of the Red Fort and children below 15 years of age will not be allowed to take part.
This year will also mark the debut of the upgraded Schilka air defence system, which is a radar-based anti-aircraft weapon.
Captain Preeti Choudhary, the only woman contingent commander from the Indian Army to be taking part in the R-Day parade, said: “The upgraded Schilka will roll down the Rajpath for the first time this year. It can track, shoot enemy targets up to 2 km on ground and 2.5 km in air. I received this opportunity as it is my regiment's equipment, not due to gender.”
The other weapons that would be showcased by the Indian Army during Republic Day celebrations this year are the Pinaka Multi-Barrel Rocket System, BMP-2, T-90 Bhishma Tank, Bridge Layer Tank, BrahMos cruise missile, and the Electronic Warfare Equipment System Samvijay.