SOURCE: Express News Service

The newly acquired modern multi role Rafale fighters of the Indian Air force will be flying over Rajpath as part of the flypast on the 72nd Republic Day.

Confirming the information, a source said that the numbers of band contingents and the numbers of tableau will be the maximum this year. “Rafale fighters will be the part of Republic Day air display this year, but the motorcycle team Daredevil will not be participating.”

There will be a total of 32 tableaux this year with 17 from states and Union territories and the rest will be from the Central Ministries and Departments, Armed forces (Army, Nay and Air force).

There will two tableaux for the Defence research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Also, two special tableaux, one from the Ministry of Culture depicting the 75 years of independence and the other from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting about the New India.

In the 2020 RD Parade there were a total of 22 tableaux. 

There will be 23 band contingents this year.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, both children for Bravery Award and Gallantry Award winners above 60 years will not be participating.

About the fleet

The first five aircraft arrived in India in July 2020 and were officially inducted into the IAF as part of its No 17 Squadron, also known as the ‘Golden Arrows’. Later in November three more aircraft joined the Squadron.

IAF will now have eight Rafale jets in service. The contract for 36 of these fighters was signed in an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

COVID-19 restrictions have led to the absence of few important attendees this year.

Captain Bana Singh, PVC will be absent from parade as he is over 60 years of age.

Another significant absentee from the parade will be the Daredevil Motorcycle stunt team.

As reported earlier by TNIE, the Republic Day celebrations in many ways will be scaled down amidst the COVID-19 restrictions. The Parade marching distance has been cut short to 3.5 kilometer from the initial 8.5 km and the number of soldiers in each Marching contingent has been reduced to only 96 marchers, 12 rows and 8 columns.

The spectator strength has also been drastically cut down from 1,25000 to 25,000 this year.