At Republic Day parade, IAF to pay homage to exploits of its pilots and armed forces during 1971 war with Pakistan

IAF to commemorate Tangail air drop and Meghna crossing during the war

At Republic Day parade, IAF to pay homage to exploits of its pilots and armed forces during 1971 war with Pakistan

Photo for representation purposes

Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, January 17

At this year's Republic Day parade, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will pay homage to some of the exploits of its pilots and also the armed forces during the 1971 war with Pakistan.

The tableau of the IAF that will be part of the parade at Rajpath will have a display of a jet bombing the Governor's House at Dhaka.

Also, a model of the Gnat fighter will form the display.The Gnat hadearned the name 'Sabre slayer' for its efficacy in shooting down the Sabres - aname for a Jet - of the Pakistani Air Force.

The flypast will pay homage to two important events that possibly changed the course of war in East Pakistan.

Among the several formations that will be flying, the IAF has named two of the flying displays as 'Tangail' and 'Meghna'.

Tangail is the place in Bangladesh where the Indian Army'sParachute Regiment, known as Para's,were air-dropped behind enemy lines. A Dakota - a plane used in the para-dropin 1971- will fly past Rajpath as part of the flying display. It will be flanked by a Dornier 228 and a special operations plane, the C130-J.

This segment of the display is named 'Tangail'.

Meghna is ariver east of Dhaka and crossing it was important during the 1971 war if Indian forces wanted to capture Dhaka.

IAF helicopters were used to cross thousands of Indian Army troops across the 4 km expanse of the Meghna. The flying display at Rajpath will include a Chinook heavy lift copter and four Mi17V5 copters flying in to commemorate the crossing of the Meghna. The segment is named 'Meghna'.

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