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R-Day: Navy’s vintage IL38 SD aircraft to participate in flypast for the first and last time; 45,000 people expected.

The Navy’s vintage IL38 SD will pass over Kartavya Path, formerly known as Rajpath, as part of a flypast of 50 aircraft on Republic Day, the Indian Air Force announced Wednesday.

Inducted in the late 1970s, the IL38 SD played a crucial part in the Navy’s long-range maritime reconnaissance missions and possessed the capabilities of long-range submarine search and strike, anti-shipping strike, electronic signal intelligence, and remote search and rescue.

Only two of the Navy’s five IL38SD aircraft are currently operating and are on the approach of being retired. During the naval air squadron’s silver jubilee festivities in 2002, a midair collision resulted in the loss of two of these aircraft and 17 crew.

After 44 years of service, the first IL38 SD aircraft of the Navy was decommissioned in January of last year. According to the Navy, the aircraft had logged 10,000 hours of operational flight time and remained fully operational until the day of its retirement, when it conducted a sortie.

The IAF announced during a press preview of the force’s contingent at the January 26 parade that the Republic Day flypast will feature both modern Rafale fighter jets and the vintage Dakota, which was the first major transport aircraft inducted into the Indian Air Force (in 1946) and participated in the wars with Pakistan in 1947-48 and 1971. There are no single-engine fighter aircraft participating in the flyby.

While the Rafale jets will fly in three distinct formations, the Dakota will be flanked by two Dornier 228 aircraft in a Vic configuration. In addition to the Dakota, the 50-plane flypast will comprise 23 fighter aircraft, 18 helicopters, and eight transport aircraft, according to Wing Commander Indranil Nandi.

Other aircraft participating in the flypast include the indigenous light combat helicopter, the advanced light helicopter Mark IV, the Mi-17 V5, the Su-30s, MiG-29s, Jaguars, and the transport aircraft C-130 and C-17.

Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy will lead the IAF’s marching contingent in the Republic Day parade, while the air force band contingent of 72 musicians and three drum majors will perform popular military melodies such as Sound Barrier and Ladakoo.

The topic of the IAF’s tableau this year is the Indian Air Force: Power Beyond Boundaries, and among the features featured will be the airborne early warning and control aircraft Netra, the LCA Tejas MK II, the LCH Prachand, and the Airbus C-295. While the Army is yet to reveal the theme for its tableau, the Navy’s tableau will showcase Nari Shakti within the force.

Republic Day will include a total of 23 tableaus, including 17 from the states and Union Territories and six from other ministries and departments. Up to 120 IAF musicians will participate in the Beating Retreat ritual, which, according to officials, would feature entirely Indian music, such as those based on Indian classical music.

Last year, for the first time since 1950, the traditional hymn “Abide With Me” was substituted by the patriotic Hindi song “Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon.”

The January 26 event will begin with a tribute at the National War Memorial, followed by the unfurling of the national flag and the presentation of the national salute to the President of India at Kartavya Path. The President will be supported by Flight Lieutenant Komal Rani of the IAF.

In addition to the Beating Retreat ritual at the Vijay Chowk and the NCC rally, the Republic Day festivities feature cultural performances by youngsters, acrobatic motorbike rides, and a flyover.

Speaking separately to the media on Wednesday, defence secretary Giridhar Aramane announced that the week-long celebrations would begin on January 23, the birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, and conclude on January 30, which is marked as Martyrs’ Day.

The festivities will honour veterans of the Indian National Army and other individuals and tribal communities who engaged in the liberation movement.

The new events that will be held as part of this year’s Republic Day celebrations include a military tattoo & tribal dance festival with its grand finale featuring Kailash Kher, Veer Gatha 2.0; the second edition of the Vande Bharatam dance competition; performances of military and Coast Guard bands at the National War Memorial; an all-India school band competition at the memorial; a drone show featuring 3,500 indigenous drones and projection mapping during the Bharat Ratna Awards; and a drone show featuring 3,

In addition, Bharat Parv will be held on Gyan Path in front of the Red Fort, with Republic Day tableaus, military band performances, cultural performances, pan-Indian food courts, and a crafts bazaar.

This year there will be a total of 45,000 spectators at the Republic Day event, compared to nearly a lakh in the 19 years prior to the introduction of CCTV. The defence ministry announced that conventional invitation cards for guests and onlookers have been replaced with electronic invitations.

The Republic Day celebrations will include Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi as the keynote guest.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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