The Indian Air Force (IAF) would complete 87 glorious years on October 8 and has planned to mark the anniversary at its Hindan Base with a spectacular air display showcasing both vintage aircraft and modern fleet, officials said on Sunday. The IAF was founded on October 8, 1932, and the force has participated in several crucial wars and landmark missions. "The IAF will proudly celebrate its 87th anniversary. A scintillating air display by various aircraft will be the hallmark of the Air Force Day parade-cum-investiture ceremony at the Hindan Air Force Station in Ghaziabad," a senior IAF official said.
Rehearsals for the air display will commence from Tuesday, the IAF said. "The air display will commence with flag bearing skydivers of the famous Akash Ganga team dropping out of an AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies. The flypast would include the vintage aircraft, modern transport aircraft and frontline fighter aircraft," the official said. The ceremony will conclude with a spellbinding aerobatic display, he said. The general area over which the aircraft will be flying at low levels are Wazirpur bridge, Karawalnagar, Afjalpur, Hindan; Shaml, Jiwana, Chandinagar, Hindan; Hapur, Philkua, Ghaziabad, Hindan, the IAF said.
The IAF also requested people to not throw eatables in the open area as it attracts birds whose flight pose a serious threat to flying aircraft, especially at low heights. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Kargil conflict in which the IAF as part of Operation Safed Sagar of Army's Operation Vijay had played a critical role.
For the procurement of 114 Made-in-India fighter jets of foreign origin by the IAF, a Request for Information (RFI) as been issued. A lag of 3-5 years is anticipated before the first Made-in-India fighter jet is inducted into the IAF, only if the contract is signed by 2020. The US has also been pressurising India to buy its F-21 Lockheed Martin jets which are just re-badged F16 jets, said sources. The offer is most likely to be rejected after Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman downed an F-16 jet by Pakistan. However, an offer of Boeing F-18, which has both a carrier as well as an Air force variant, is being considered by the Indian Air Force.
(With PTI inputs)