All Round Defence Strategic Capability Demo at Republic Day Parade
A mix of indigenous and high tech imported platforms, ASAT marked the demonstration of India’s capabilities at the RD Parade in New Delhi on 26 January 2020.
India’s military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress was on display during the 71st Republic Day celebrations at the Rajpath, in the national capital. This was a demonstration of all round strategic and defence capability including indigenous and foreign accretions in the past one year.
Anti-satellite weapon – Mission Shakthi developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was prominently displayed in a tableau.
Indian Army’s battle tank Bhishma, infantry combat vehicles, Air Forces’ newly inducted Chinook and Apache helicopters, in addition to tableaux depicting Akash and Astra missiles and Indian Navy’s prowess was showcased during the 90-minute long parade.
The first contingent in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers was 61 Cavalry led by Captain Deepanshu Sheoran. The 61 Cavalry is the only active serving horse cavalry regiment in the world. It was raised on August 01, 1953 with the amalgamation of six state forces’ cavalry units.
The Indian Army was represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, eight mechanised columns, six marching contingents and fly-past by Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters of the Army Aviation.
Indigenously-developed Main Battle Tank of the Indian Army, T-90 Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) Ballway Machine Pikate (BMP)-II, K-9 VAJRA-T, Dhanush Gun System, newly-inducted five-metre Short Span Bridging System, Sarvatra Bridge System, Transportable Satellite Terminal and Akash weapon system will be the main attraction in the mechanised columns.
‘Indian Navy – Silent, Strong, and Swift’ marked the Indian Navy Tableau. The fore part of the tableau showcased the might and fire power of Navy in all three dimensions, while the next part exhibits the Navy’s commitment to nation building.
The Air Force contingent, comprising of 144 air warriors, was led by Flight Lieutenant Shrikant Sharma. The Air Force tableau showcased scaled down models of the Rafale aircraft, the Tejas aircraft, the Light Combat Helicopter, the Akash Missiles System and the Astra Missiles.
One of the main highlights was the marching contingent of DRDO that will showcase Anti-Satellite Weapons (ASAT) – Mission Shakti. ASAT (Anti-Satellite) weapons play a critical role in providing the necessary strategic deterrence.
Mission Shakti, India’s first Anti-Satellite (ASAT) mission, was a major breakthrough in demonstrating the nation’s Anti-Satellite technology.
The second equipment of DRDO will be the Air Defence Tactical Control Radar (ADTCR) used for volumetric surveillance, detection, tracking and friend/foe identification of aerial targets of different types and transmission of prioritised target data to multiple command posts/weapon systems.
The grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past comprised of the ‘Trishul’ formation by three ALH helicopters followed by the ‘Vic’ formation of Chinook helicopters, used for airlifting diverse loads to remote locations. Apache helicopters, Dornier aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, Netra, an Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft and the ‘Globe’ formation comprising three C-17 Globemasters also participated. Five Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and five MiG-29 Upgrade Air Superiority Fighters in ‘Arrowhead’ formation enthralled the audience before the exhilarating Trishul manoeuvre by Su-30 MKIs. The parade culminated with a Su-30 MKI splitting the sky with a breath taking ‘Vertical Charlie’ aerobatic manoeuvre.