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Apache, Jaguar Among Top Aircraft to Take Part in Grand Flypast Today as Air Force Celebrates 87th Birthday

As part of its 87th birth anniversary celebrations on Air Force Day, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will attend a grand flypast that would include vintage and modern transport aircraft and frontline fighters.


Updated:October 8, 2019, 8:19 AM IST
Apache, Jaguar Among Top Aircraft to Take Part in Grand Flypast Today as Air Force Celebrates 87th Birthday
Image posted by IAF on Twitter.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Tuesday will celebrate its 87th birthday with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh set to formally receive the first Rafale fighter jet in France’s Merignac, a delivery the IAF has been eagerly waiting for nearly two decades now.

Every year, the Air Force Day is celebrated at Hindon base in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad, in presence of IAF chief and senior officials of the three armed forces.

As part of its 87th birth anniversary celebrations on Air Force Day, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will attend a grand flypast that would include vintage and modern transport aircraft and frontline fighters.The air display will commence with flag-bearing sky divers of the famous Akash Ganga team dropping out of an AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies. The ceremony will conclude with a spell-binding aerobatic display.

The IAF will showcase its Chinook transport and Apache attack helicopters for the first time since they were acquired from the US in the last few months. A Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKI will perform a manoeuvre at the end of the event.

The IAF was founded on October 8, 1932, and the force has participated in several crucial wars and landmark missions. Commemorating this year’s anniversary, the IAF has posted a promotional video on its Twitter page.

Here are some of the aircraft taking part in the flypast

Chinook helicopter

The CH-47 Chinook made by Boeing is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that is used to deliver heavy payloads to high altitudes, and is eminently suitable for operations in the rugged terrains of high Himalayas.

Apache Attack Helicopters

The Boeing manufactured Apache AH064E attack helicopters were used by the US air force in Afghanistan and Iraq and are also known as ‘tank busters’. The Apaches are equipped with Hellfire missiles and rockets. Each helicopter has the capacity to carry eight such missiles. It also has a canon gun that can fire 1,200 rounds at a time, with which two missile pods carrying 19 missiles each can be fixed.

Hercules transport aircraft

The Lockhead Martin prooduced C-130J Super Hercules provides significant performance improvements and added operational capabilities that translate directly into increased ground and air combat effectiveness. Some of these attributes include the ability to operate out of 2,000-feet-long dirt strips in high mountain ranges, and the ability to carry tonnes of supplies more than 4,500 km away to remote operating bases, keeping trucks off dangerous highways.

C-17 Globemaster III

Made by Boeing, the high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport aircraft, the multi-service C-17 can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world.


The Jaguar is a twin-engine, single-seater deep penetration strike aircraft of Anglo-French origin which has a maximum speed of 1350 kmph (Mach 1.3 or 1.3 times the speed of sound). The Jaguar carries two 30 mm guns and can carry two missiles over the wing and 4,750 kg of bombs and fuel.

The MiG-21 Bison

This is a highly upgraded version of the Soviet-era fighter jet. At least 110 MiG-21 jets were upgraded in 2006 to MiG-21 Bison. The upgrades include equipping it with powerful multi-mode radar, better avionics and communications systems.


This single seater of Russian origin is popularly known as ‘Baaz’, the eagle, and flew air-dominance and escort missions to protect strike aircraft while they dropped laser-guided bombs on terrorist fortifications atop hills during the Kargil War in 1999. It upgraded to perform multi role missions in air-to-air and air-to-ground mode equally well.

The Mirage 2000

The Mirage 2000, built by Dassault Aviation that also manufacture the Rafale, is a delta-wing fighter jet that has proven its reliability with the IAF with its impressive service record in the Kargil War in 1999 and the air strike at a terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot in February. The Mirage 2000 still remains the go-to aircraft for the IAF as it's one of the most versatile platforms anywhere.


The Sukhoi-30MKI is a two-seater multirole fighter jet of Russian origin that can carry up to 8,000 kg of external stores such as bombs, fuel and missiles. It is capable of carrying out a wide range of missions using long-range air-to-air missiles.

LCA Tejas

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas together with its variants is the smallest and lightest multirole supersonic fighter aircraft of its class. This single engine, compound delta wing aircraft is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency, and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited along with partners such as Defence Research and Development Organisation, among others.

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