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  • Writer's pictureRANGAN PAL

Republic Day parade: Indian Navy's IL-38 aircraft to be displayed for 'first time and last time'

At the 74th Republic Day to be celebrated on January 26, 2023, a total of Fifty aircrafts will take part in the R-Day celebrations at the Kartavya Path that will include an aerial display by nine Rafale and the Navy's IL-38 which will be showcased at the event for the first and perhaps the last time, a senior IAF official said. IL-38 is a maritime reconnaissance aircraft of the Indian Navy that has served for nearly 42 years, he said. "It will be showcased during the Republic Day celebrations here for the first time and perhaps the last time. It will be among the 50 aircraft that will take part in the event," the IAF official said.

These 50 aircraft will include four from the Army as well, he added. This will be the first Republic Day celebrations hosted at the ceremonial boulevard after Rajpath was renamed Kartavya Path last year. Nine Rafale aircraft will also be part of the flypast during the celebrations, the IAF official said.

IAF formations

"Four Rafale will be part of the Netra formation and four others in Vajrang formation with a C-130 aircraft, an one will perform the 'Vertical Charlie' at the end of the flypast," he added.

Asked what all will be showcased during the flypast for the first time, the IAF official said, besides the IL-38 naval aircraft, the formations like 'Bheem' and 'Vajrang' will be showcased over the Kartavya Path for the first time.

In the 'Bheem' formation, a C-17 aircraft will be flanked by two Su-30s. And, then in the 'Vajrang' formation, a C-130 aircraft will be flanked by four Rafale aircraft, he said. "During the IAF Day, we had a similar formation, but the C-130 aircraft was flanked by Su-30s," the official said.

Other aerial formations during the flypast will include 'Dhawj', 'Rudra', 'Baaz', 'Prachand', 'Tiranga', 'Tangail', 'Garuda', 'Amrit' and 'Trishul'.

IL-38 aircraft

The Ilyushin 38 was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1977 and is a long-range surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Known as the Winged Stallions, the IL 38SDs, the oldest maritime surveillance aircraft in the Indian inventory, will be decommissioned by the end of this year. These Russian-made planes will be replaced by the US-made Boeing P8.

The IL-38 provided the Indian Navy with modern maritime reconnaissance and fixed-wing Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability. These were 5 Ilyushin 38s inducted in the Navy. The maritime aircrafts added airborne long-range maritime reconnaissance capabilities to the Indian Navy, combined with long-range anti-submarine search and strike, anti-shipping strike, electronic signal intelligence and distant search and rescue missions.

In 2002, there was a mid-air collision of two IL-38s and seventeen personnel were killed in the accident.


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