Republic Day Parade 2014 – A Curtain Raiser
The recently acquired state-of-the-art Defence platforms, the military prowess, the country’s rich and unique cultural diversities and the nation’s achievements in diverse fields will come alive at the historic Rajpath when the country celebrates its 65th Republic Day tomorrow.
The highlights of this year’s Parade will be the display of India’s first indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas. Tejas is a 4+ generation, supersonic, highly manoeuvrable, multi-role, smallest and lightest in its class contemporary combat aircraft designed for the Indian Air Force designed and developed by DRDO. It is considered a ‘game changer’ for India’s air defence preparedness.
The Main Battle Tank (MBT Arjun) MK-II, the first indigenously designed and developed tank and fondly called a Desert Ferrari for its excellent mobility will also be on display. The recently inducted transport aircraft into the Indian Air Force, C-130J Super Hercules which is optimized for undertaking special operations and the gigantic C-17 Globemaster which is a heavy lift, long-range aircraft will be the added attractions.
The DRDO will also put on display the ‘Astra’ and ‘Helina’ Missiles and a tableau on unmanned systems comprising ‘DAKSH’ – a Remotely Operated Vehicle, models of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, mini UAV-‘NETRA’ Wheeled Surveillance Vehicle, Tracked Surveillance Vehicle Muntra S, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle- ‘NISHANT’, Mini Remotely Operated Vehicle, Confined Space Remotely Operated Vehicle and Gun Mounted Remotely Operated Vehicle.
The weaponry put on display by the Indian Army includes tank T-90 ‘Bheeshma’, ICV BMP-2 (Sarath), TK-T-72 Full Width Mine Plough, PMS Bridging System, OSA-AK Weapon System, Smerch – Multi-launcher Rocket System, BrahMos Weapon System and Transportable Satellite Terminals (TST). The Army’s Mechanised Columns will conclude with a flypast by the Advanced Light Helicopters ‘Dhruv’ of the Army Aviation Corps.
The Indian Air Force will parade its tableau with the theme ‘Transformation of Indian Air Force.’ It will represent the IAF multi-faceted transformation over the past eight decades and highlighting the full spectrum capability of the Air Force. The front trailer shows a Hawai Sepoy to the present day Air Warrior emphasising the IAF’s credo of People First Mission Always. The quantum leap in training aircraft is depicted from the early trainer Tiger Moth to the latest Pilatus PC-7 aircraft that is building the critical human potential of Indian Air Force today.
The second exhibit depicts the transformation in the fighter fleet from a Wapiti biplane to state-of-the-art, air dominance fighter Sukhoi-30 MKI that can undertake full spectrum operations. Similar transformation in the transport fleet of the IAF is shown from the Dakota DC-3 to the C-17 Globe Master that has enhanced IAF’s strategic reach.
The Indian Navy’s tableau depicts a scaled down model of a submarine, one of the most potent and deadly military platforms in the arsenal of the Navy. Over the years, the submarine operations have grown in scope and complexity and today the Indian Navy operates nuclear powered submarines which have greater punch and reach and can operate underwater for longer durations.
The parade ceremony will commence at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath. An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of our Armed Forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland. The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier’s helmet.
As per tradition, after unfurling of the National Flag, the National Anthem will be played. The parade will then commence and the President will take the salute. This year’s Chief Guest in the parade will be His Excellency Mr. Shinzo Abe the Prime Minister of Japan. The parade will be commanded by Lt. General Subroto Mitra, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Major General Rajbir Singh, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the parade Second-in-Command.
Param Vir Chakra winners Sub Maj and Hon. Capt Bana Singh (Retd), Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Havaldar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK RIF and Ashok Chakra Winners Maj Gen Cyrus Pithawalla, GoC, Andhra Sub Area, Lt Col Jas Ram Singh (retd), Major D Sreeram Kumar, Instructor, Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, Honorary Naib Subedar Chhering Mutup (retd), Shri Hukum Singh and Shri Govind Singh of District Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh and Shri Bhure Lal of District Guna also from Madhya Pradesh will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps.
The marching contingents of Army will include horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Parachute Regiment, Punjab Regiment, Madras Regiment, Rajputana Rifles, Mahar Regiment, Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment, 9 Gorkha Rifles and 103 Infantry Battalion (TA) Sikh Light Infantry.
The marching contingents of Navy comprising 144 men will be led by Surgeon Lieutenant Ambika Nautiyal and the Air Force contingent comprising 144 men will be led by Squadron Leader Manvender Singh. The marching contingents of paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces will include contingents from the Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme. The Camel-mounted band of the BSF and the Ex-Servicemen marching contingent will be another major attraction.
Tableaux from 18 States and Central Ministries and Departments will present the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country. They will also showcase country’s progress in different fields. Twenty of the 25 children selected for the National Bravery Award–2013 will also participate in the parade. Five children have got the award posthumously. In the children’s pageant section, nearly 1,000 boys and girls drawn from Delhi's four schools and one from North-East Zonal Cultural Centre, Arunachal Pradesh will present dances and other programmes.
‘Janbaz’, the motorcycle display by the Border Security Force will be a major attraction of the parade. The ‘Janbaz’ team consists of 162 riders on 30 motorcycles performing Border Men Salute, Side Riding, Ladder Double, Neck Riding, Harmony, Exercise, Janbaz, Yoga, Parallel Bar, Human Pyramid, Guldasta, Seema Prahari and Flag March formations.
The grand finale of the parade will be a spectacular flypast by the IAF. The flypast commence with ‘Chakra’ formation, comprising three Mi-35 helicopters in ‘Vic’ formation, followed by the ‘Vic’ formation comprising three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Trailing them will be a ‘Globe’ formation comprising one C-17 Globemaster, flanked by two Su-30s. Next in line will be the fighters, while five Jaguars will fly in Arrowhead formation, another five Mig-29 Air Superiority Fighters called the “Tridents” will fly in Fulcrum style. Then the breath-taking Trishul formation comprising three Su-30 MKI of No. 2 Squadron would fly over the Rajpath and once in front of the saluting dais the Su-30 MKI aircraft will split upwards, making a Trishul in the sky. The flypast will conclude with another Su-30 MKI carrying out a Vertical Charlie manoeuvre over the saluting dais.
The ceremony will culminate with the National Anthem and release of balloons.