New Delhi, 18th January 2023: After completing 44 illustrious years of service to the nation, the Indian Navy’s IL 38 aircraft will fly the duty path for the first and last time on Republic Day this year. Wing Commander Indranil Nandi said that the Republic Day fly-past would involve 45 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, one from the Indian Navy and four helicopters from the Indian Army.

The Bhima formation in different formations by the officers of the Indian Air Force will be new this year. It will involve a 40-degree pitch-up and SU-30 streaming fuel by the three aircraft.

Wing Commander Indranil Nandi said there would be 13 formations like Arrow, Abrust, Arrowhead, Diamond and others by aircraft like MiG-29, Rafale, Jaguar, Su-30, and others. The IL 38SD aircraft of the Indian Navy was decommissioned on 17th January 2022 after completing 44 glorious years of service to the nation. The aircraft was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1977 and remained a formidable aerial asset throughout its service.

The IL-38 was a long-range, all-weather aircraft with sufficient operating range. The proceedings of the Republic Day Parade on the Duty Path will begin with the unfurling of the National Flag and the National Salute to the President of India. Fit Lieutenant Komal Rani will assist the President in unfurling the National Flag.

The air warriors participating in the Republic Day parade have been selected through a rigorous process by the Air Force. The team goes through intense practice sessions every day, starting early in the morning. The contingent will consist of four officers and 144 air warriors who will march in a box formation of 12 rows and 12 columns.

The squad will be led by Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy with three additional officers – Flight Lieutenant Ayush Agarwal, Flight Lieutenant Tanuj Malik, and Fit Lieutenant Pradhan Nikhil.

IAF won the trophy for the best marching contingent in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2020. The award for the best marching contingent in the popular choice category for 2022 was also won by the IAF. The marching tune for the contingent will be played by a contingent of the Air Force Band consisting of 72 musicians and three drum majors. The band will be led by Warrant Ashok Kumar, who has the distinction of participating in the RD Parade Airforce Band contingent for the last 28 years and leading the contingent for the last 16 years.