122 membered contingent from Bangladesh Armed Forces to be present at India’s Republic Day Parade 2021
The main attraction of Republic Day Parade 2021 will be the 122 membered contingent from Bangladesh Armed Forces, which includes soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, Sailors of the Bangladesh Navy and Air warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force. At the same time, Vintage Dakota Aircraft of the Indian Air Force, which played a vital role in Bangladesh’s Liberation war of 1971, will do a fly-past at the parade on 26th of January. It will be a part of the Rudra formation, and will be accompanied by two MI 171V. The majority of soldiers in this consignment are from the distinguished units of the Bangladesh Army, which fought the 1971 Liberation war.
Bangladesh will be celebrating “Swarnim Vijay Jayanti”, its 50th year of independence in the year 2021, and thus will be a part of the Parade, which will be only third instance in the history of India’s Republic Day Parade when any foreign military contingent will be a part of it. Indian Air Force gifted Dakota aircrafts to Bangladesh after the 1971 war, and thus began the journey of the Bangladesh Air Force.
Another attraction of this year’s parade will be the newly inducted Rafale fighter jets, which will carry out the “Vertical Charlie” formation. It is a formation when an aircraft flies at low altitude, pulls up vertically, conducts rolls and stabilizes at higher altitude. It will also be a part of the “Eklavya” formation along with 2 Jaguar and MiG-29 aircrafts.
As a tradition, the flypast is divided into two parts, the first being carried out along with the parade from 1004 hours to 1020 hours, and the second after the parade from 1120 hours to 1145 hours. 4 planes of the Indian Army and 38 aircrafts of the Indian Air Force will be a part of the flypast.
India’s air power capability got a major boost by the induction of five Rafale fighter jets at the Ambala airbase on September 10, 2020.
Mega air exercise between the Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force
A five-day mega air exercise between the Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force, code-named as “Ex-Desert Knight 21”, will begin at Jodhpur Air Station from 20th January 2021. The fleet of both the countries includes frontline fighter jets, transport aircrafts and tanker aircrafts. The lineup of IAF’s aircrafts taking part in this exercise includes Rafale fighter jets, Mirage 2000s, Sukhoi 30s, Air Borne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) program and IL-78, the mid-air refueler aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
The French contingent includes 175 personnel, Airbus A-330 Multi-role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, A-440M Military Transport aircraft and the Rafale jets. This contingent is deployed in Asia as a part of the Skyros Development. Both the air forces have been a part of six editions of “Garuda”, an exercise conducted to enhance interoperability, strategic relations, co-ordination and operational experience. This will be the first time that IAF’s Rafale jets will take part in an exercise with a foreign nation.
This exercise is taking place at a time when India is in a face-off with China over the land issues. India’s Golden Arrow Squadron, which has 8 Rafale jets is currently operating in the Northern and Eastern borders with China and ready to undertake any mission.
India purchased gas turbine engines from a Ukraine
India has purchased gas turbine engines from a Ukraine based firm Zorya-Mashproyekt, which are to be installed on the Admiral Grigorovich class guided missile stealth frigates. These frigates are being manufactured by Yantar Shipyard in Russia as a part of a $ 2.5 billion deal with the Indian Navy. The frigates have been handed over to the manufacturers. Yantar Shipyard has earlier manufactured three of the six Talwar class frigates for the Indian Navy.
Delivery of one of the two frigates is expected to be done by the end of 2022. The second one is expected to be delivered six months later, in 2023. The deal is a part of Inter-governmental Agreement of 2016 with Russia, where India will be receiving four frigates. The deal was confirmed and signed in 2018. These frigates are modified versions of Talwar-class vessels that were built between 2003 and 2013. The new frigates will be equipped with 22 new systems, including communication, navigation and weapons.
As per the deal, two ships will be made in India in the Goa shipyard with technical collaboration with Russia, while two will be delivered from Russia.
Since Indian Defence projects are heavily dependent on Russia, India is expecting a waiver from the CAATSA (Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act).