Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday led the nation in paying tribute to the fallen soldiers by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial in the national capital on the occasion of Republic Day.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Indian Air Force Chief (IAF) Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria were also present there.
India's military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress will be on display during the 72nd Republic Day celebrations at the majestic Rajpath in the national capital today. Apart from tableaus of Armed forces, 17 tableaus from different states and nine tableaus from different ministries and departments of the Central government and Paramilitary Forces and six from Ministry of Defence will also be on display during the annual parade.
As per tradition, the National Flag will be unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute. The parade will commence with President Ram Nath Kovind taking the salute. The parade will be commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva medal, General Officer Commanding Delhi Area. Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area will be the Parade Second-in-Command.
After the unfurling of National Flag, the proud winners of the highest gallantry awards will be awarded.
Indian Armed forces are all set to display its military might during the annual parade.The Indian Army will be represented by a Mounted Column of 61 Cavalry, seven mechanised columns, six marching contingents and fly-past by Rudra and Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters of the Army Aviation. Indigenously-developed Main Battle Tank of the Indian Army, T-90 Bhishma, Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) Ballway Machine Pikate (BMP II), Brahmos Weapon System, Pinaka Bridge Laying tanks T-72, Samvijay Electronic Warfare System and Schilka Weapon system will be the main attraction in the mechanised columns.
Indian Navy in addition to tableaux will have murals depicting Pakistan Army surrendering, a Petya class ship and Operation X undertaken by divers of Indian Navy and Mukti Bahini and some other ships which took part in the 1971 India-Pakistan War.
The Naval contingent will comprise 96 sailors and 4 officers led by Lieutenant Commander Lalit Kumar as Contingent Commander. It will be followed by the Naval Tableau titled Swarnim Vijay Varsh. The fore part of the tableau showcases the Indian Navy's attack on Karachi harbour in the night of December 4-5, 1971 by missile boats. On the sides of the tractor, the route taken by the attacking units will be depicted.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will showcase among others Mi-17 V5, Chinook and Apache helicopters. The Air Force contingent, comprising 96 airmen and four officers, will be led by Flight Lieutenant Tanik Sharma. It will be followed by the Air Force Tableau titled Indian Air Force: Touch the Sky with Glory. The Air Force tableau showcases scaled down models of Light Combat Aircraft, Light Combat Helicopter, Su-30 MK-I aircraft and Rohini radar against a sky-blue background. The smartly attired officers in their flying overalls will stand alongside the models.
The Indian Coast Guard marching contingent will be led by Deputy Commandant Ashish Nagar. The motto of the ICG is Vayam Rakshamah meaning We Protect. The Indian Coast Guard keeps our maritime frontiers safe and secure. The force comprises 155 surface units and 62 air assets.The contingents of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Delhi Police, Border Security Force (BSF) Camel Contingent and National Security Guard (NSG) popularly known as the Black Cat Commandoes will also march past the saluting dais.
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) Boys Marching contingent will be led by Commander Senior Under Officer Ranjeet Singh Gurjar of NCC Directorate Rajasthan, while the girls contingent will be headed by Senior Under Officer Samruddhi Harshal Sant of NCC Directorate, Maharashtra.
The National Service Scheme (NSS) contingent comprising 100 volunteers will also take part led by Abhijit Bhuin from West Bengal Directorate. The Massed Pipes and Drums Band of the Indian Army will also be on display.
Representing India's strides in indigenous defence technologies, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) contingent this year consists of two tableaux depicting among others Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) take off from INS Vikramaditya.
One of the main highlights will be the marching contingent of DRDO that will showcase Anti-Tank Guided Missile systems, which play a crucial role in defeating armoured tanks. The operability of the missile from a tank is a key feature and challenging task in modern armoured warfare. The ATGMs Tableau of DRDO is showing full-scale models of Nag, HELINA, MPATGM, Sant and Laser Guided ATGM missiles.
The 122-member proud contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces comprising soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, sailors of the Bangladesh Navy and Air Warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force will lead the contingent march on the Rajpath.
The first domestic contingent in the uniform of the erstwhile Gwalior Lancers will be 61 Cavalry led by Captain Deepanshu Sheoran. The 61 Cavalry is the only active serving horse cavalry regiment in the world. It was raised on August 1, 1953 with the amalgamation of six state forces' cavalry units.
As many as 17 tableaus from various states/union territories, namely Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Ladakh will be showcased during the parade, depicting the geographical and rich cultural diversity of the country.
Nine tableaus from different ministries/departments and Paramilitary Forces will also be on display, showcasing Digital Bharat, Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Four Labour Codes that depict the guiding philosophy of Mehnat ek Samaan, Adhikar ek Samaan, One Nation, One Sign Language, Ojo Bharat, Tejo Bharat: Immune India, Active India, CRPF: A Professional Ops Force with Humane Sensitivity, Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: COVID, Samudra Prahri Indian Coast Guard, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's New India: 'Vocal for Local', Border Roads Organisation: Connecting Places, Connecting People, 'Amar Jawan' and Heralding 75th Year of Indian Independence.
A total of six tableaus from Ministry of Defence, depicting the nation's rich cultural heritage, economic progress and defence prowess will also roll down the Rajpath during the annual parade.
The grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past, will consist of the Rudra Formation comprising a Dakota aircraft flanked by two Mi-17 IV helicopters flying in 'Vic' formation, followed by the Sudarshan formation consisting of one Chinook and two Mi-17 IV Helicopters in 'Vic' formation.
Rakshak attack helicopter formation consisting of one Mi-35 helicopter and four Apache helicopters in 'Vic' formation will come next.
Bhim formation comprising three C-130J aircraft in 'Vic' formation will then rule the sky. Behind Bhim formation will be Netra, the 'Eye in the Sky'. It is an indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft with state of art Early Warning radar and a host of advanced Electronic Warfare equipment, all indigenously designed and developed by DRDO. It will be followed by Garuda formation comprising one C-17 Globemaster with two MiG-29s and two Su-30 MKI aircraft in 'Vic' formation. The C-17 is a heavy lift; long-range strategic airlift aircraft. Induction of C-17 aircraft has changed the dynamics of strategic mobility and reach of the Air Force.
The next formation will be one of the awaited attractions of the event, one Rafale with two Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft and two MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters in 'Vic' formation at the height of 300 metres and a speed of 780 kilometres per hour. It will be followed by the Trinetra formation comprising three Su-30MKIs and the penultimate formation will be Vijay comprising three Advance Light Helicopters which are part of the acclaimed Sarang Display Team of the IAF.
The penultimate culmination of the parade will be a single Rafale aircraft flying at a speed of 900 kilometres per hour carrying out a 'Vertical Charlie'. The aircraft will be piloted by Group Captain Harkirat Singh, Shaurya Chakra, Commanding Officer of 17 Squadron with Squadron Leader Kislaykant. The craft will go up vertically carrying out a series of rolls and giving a befitting salute to the motto of the Indian Air Force 'Nabha Sparshan Deeptam'.The ceremony will culminate with the national anthem and the release of tri-colour balloons.