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Attack helicopter Rudra to fly for first time in R-Day parade

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Indigenously-developed weapon system integrated helicopter Rudra will make its maiden appearance in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath in New Delhi on January 26, Indian Air Force officials said.

The flypast by the Indian Air Force on the Republic Day parade will involve 38 aircraft, including 21 fighters, 12 helicopters and five transporters, Group Captain Rahul Bhasin told reporters.

The Ensign formation of the flypast will include a Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying the ASEAN flag to commemorate the summit meeting of India and the block of South East Asian countries to be held in Delhi on January 29-30.

"The flypast will be divided into two blocks. The second block will start with Rudra formation comprising Advanced Light Helicopter MK-IV WSI. This is the first time this aircraft is being showcased in the Republic Day Parade," Bhasin said.

Other formations will involve C-130J, AEW&C aircraft escorted by two Sukhoi-30MKI, Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, Jaguar, MiG 29 Upgrade aircraft.

The IAF tableau will be themed on "Indian Air Force encouraging indigenisation", while the tri-service tableau will be themed on "veterans are asset to the nation".

The IAF march past contingent will include 75 musicians and three band majors led by junior warrant officer Ashok Kumar Nagar.

"We will pay 15 patriotic and martial tunes on the occasion," Nagar said.

The IAF band will also mesmerise the audience at "Beating the Retreat" ceremony following the Republic Day, by its compositions and use of African drums.

A special tribute will be paid to the Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh who passed away in September last year with a tune "Great Marshal" employing African drums, Nagar said.

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