R-Day: Marching contigents display India's military might
New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) The Republic Day parade began from Kartavya Path in New Delhi after a 21-gun salute was performed. President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this year's chief guest, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi are among the dignitaries present at the venue.
During the grand parade, the major attraction was the Indian forces marching contingents and their military equipment. Notably, this year the marching contingents of the Navy and the Air Force were led by women officers.
The Indian Army troop of 61 Cavalry was led by Captain Raizada Shaurya Bali. The 61 Cavalry is the only serving active regiment in the world to have a combination of all 'State Horse Units'.
Main Battle Tank Arjun, Nag Missile System (NAMIS), BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicle of SARATH, Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicle, K-9 Vajra-Tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer Gun, BrahMos Missile, 10 Meter Short Mobile Network Center and Aakash (new generation equipment) in Span Bridge, Mobile Microwave Node and Mechanized Column were the main attractions.
A total of six contingents of the army including the Mechanized Infantry Regiment, Punjab Regiment, Maratha Light Infantry Regiment, Dogra Regiment, Bihar Regiment and Gurkha Brigade marched during the parade.
Another highlight of the parade this year was the tableau of ex-servicemen titled 'Towards India's Amrit Kaal with Sankalp' - A Veteran's 'Commitment'. The presence of soldiers provided a glimpse into the contribution of veterans over the last 75 years and their initiatives in shaping India's future during the 'Amrit Kaal'.
The Navy contingent was led by Lieutenant Commander Disha Amrit. The marching contingent includes three women and six Agniveers for the first time. This was followed by the Navy tableau, which has been designed on the theme 'Indian Navy - Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof'.
It showcased the Indian Navy's multi-dimensional capabilities, Nari Shakti and indigenously designed and built assets under the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' campaign.
The major part of the tableau was showcasing the 'Make in India' initiative of the Navy. A model of the new indigenous Nilgiri class ship was also on display along with a Dhruv helicopter deployed by Marine Commandos. Models of indigenous Kalvari class submarines were displayed on the sides. The rear part of the tableau was displaying models of autonomous unmanned systems being developed indigenously under the IDEX-SPRINT Challenge.
The Indian Air Force contingent led by Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy consisted of 144 airmen and four officers. The tableau of the Air Force, designed on the theme 'The Power of the Indian Air Force Beyond Borders', displayed a revolving globe.
It highlighted the progress of the IAF, enabling it to provide humanitarian assistance across borders, as well as conduct exercises with friendly countries.
Light Combat Aircraft Tejas MK-II, Light Combat Helicopter 'Prachanda', Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft Netra and C-295 Transport Aircraft were also displayed here. The tableau also displayed a team of Garudas in combat gear with laser designation equipment and specialist weapons.