The IAF’s newly inducted Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv will be seen for the first time as part of the Air Force Day flypast here.
The manoeuvres carried out on these helicopters are sure to give the Surya Kirans—the IAF aerobatics team—tough competition.
The Sarang display team comprising three ALHs will exhibit a spot of formation flying during the flypast on the Air Force Day on October 8.
At the dress rehearsal today, they indulged in the most intricate and daring aerial manoeuvres, often with inches to spare, that made viewers temporarily forget that they were helicopters, not jets.
The team, led by Wing Commander Hari Nair, ably showcased the flexibility and precision flying the ALH is capable of, an ability that will be the envy of jet-engined fighters.
The versatile multi-role and multi-mission ALH has proved itself to be a reliable performer in varied terrains, and has been inducted in the service of all three wings of the armed forces. In fact, it is one of the indigenously manufactured aircrafts being aggressively pursued for sale to other countries.
The other attractions of the coming event, which marks the IAF’s 72nd anniversary as well the golden jubilee of the taking-over by the first Indian Chief of Air Staff—Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee, will be the first appearance of the IAF’s elite Garud commando force, raised last year.
Its effectiveness can be gauged from the fact that barely six months after the first batch passed out early this year, its commandoes were selected for the IAF contingent forming part of the peacekeeping force in Congo.
The flypast, comprising over 50 aircraft, will be led by the Jaguars, which have earned accolades for their participation in the recently-held multinational air exercise, “Co-operative Cope Thunder”, in Alaska, and include other top-of-the-line aircraft, including SU-30, MiG-29, MiG-23, Mirage, Mi-35, Mi-17 and even the much-pilloried MiG-21.