indica News Bureau-
Celebrations for the 71st Republic Day began on January 26 in the national capital with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in attendance as the chief guest. This year’s Republic Day was unique for India in many different ways as compared to the previous years. At the Republic Day Parade 2020, India showcased its strength, diversity and pride.
India’s military and cultural might was on display at the parade that saw many firsts.
The celebration started with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage to soldiers killed in battle at National War Memorial instead of the Amar Jawan Jyoti, LiveMint reported.
Twenty-two tableaux – 16 from states and Union territories and six from various ministries and departments – depicting the nation’s rich cultural heritage and economic progress also rolled down the Rajpath.
One of the showstoppers of the parade was India’s Anti-Satellite Weapons system that was successfully tested in March last year.
Other firsts included a contingent of women bikers of paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force that performed daredevil stunts. It was led by Inspector Seema Nag who was seen saluting the president while balanced on a moving motorcycle.
Heavy-lift helicopter Chinook and attack helicopter Apache, both recently inducted in the Indian Air Force, also made a debut in the parade. The Chinooks can airlift diverse loads in remote locations. The Apache, on the other hand, is a versatile helicopter capable of firing air to air and air to ground missiles, rockets and front gun aided through fire control radar which can unleash havoc on the adversary.
India’s heavy-lift capabilities were showcased by three C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft and three C-17 Globemasters while the Indian Air Force’s airborne early warning capabilities were showcased by India’s ‘Eye in the Sky- Netra’ (NEtwork TRaffic Analysis) radar system that was flanked by two Russian made Sukhois. Upgraded MiG 29s and the French-British made deep penetration strike Jaguar aircraft too took part in the fly past.
The ‘Dhanush’ gun system, commanded by Capt. Mrigank Bharadwaj, was part of the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath for the first time on Sunday. The 155mm/45 Caliber Dhanush gun system is a towed Howitzer designed indigenously by the Ordnance Factory Board. The gun with a maximum range of 36.5 km has the capability of automatic gun alignment and positioning.
Upgraded MiG 29s and the French-British made deep penetration strike Jaguar aircraft too took part in the fly past.
PM Modi also received greetings on the occasion from several leaders including the prime ministers of Nepal and Israel and the president of the Maldives.