New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) The Republic Day Parade at Kartavya Path here on Friday, which began with the proud winners of the highest gallantry awards, including Param Vir Chakra winners, showcased India’s top weapons’ system — Tank T-90 Bhishma, NAG Missile System, Infantry Combat Vehicle, All-Terrain Vehicle, Pinaka, Weapon Locating Radar System ‘Swathi’, Sarvatra Mobile Bridging System, Drone Jammer System, and Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile System among others.
The first Army contingent leading the Mechanised Column was of 61 Cavalry, led by Major Yashdeep Ahlawat. Raised in 1953, the 61 Cavalry is the only serving active Horsed Cavalry Regiment in the world, with the amalgamation of all the ‘State Horsed Cavalry Units’.
It was followed by 11 Mechanised Columns, 12 marching contingents, and a flypast by Advanced Light Helicopters of Army Aviation Corps.
Marching down the Kartavya Path for the first time was an all-women Tri-Service contingent, led by Captain Sandhya of Military Police, with three supernumerary officers Captain Sharanya Rao, Sub Lieutenant Anshu Yadav and Flight Lieutenant Shrishti Rao, and an all-women Armed Forces Medical Services contingent, headed by Major Srishti Khullar with Captain Amba Samant of Army Dental Corps, Surgeon Lieutenant Kanchana of Indian Navy and Flight Lieutenant Dhivya Priya of Indian Air Force.
The Army Marching Contingents included The Madras Regiment, The Grenadiers, Rajputana Rifles, Sikh Regiment and the Kumaon Regiment.
The Indian Navy contingent consisted of 144 men and women Agniveers, led by Lt Prajwal M as Contingent Commander and Lt Mudita Goyal, Lt Sharvani Supreiya and Lt Devika H. as Platoon Commanders.
It was followed by the Naval Tableau, depicting the themes ‘Nari Shakti’ and ‘Sea Power Across the Oceans Through Indigenisation’.
The first part of the tableau showcased the women in the Indian Navy in All Roles and in All Ranks across the Navy while the second depicted the very first indigenous Carrier Battle Group, comprising the Aircraft Carrier Vikrant, her highly capable escort ships Delhi, Kolkata and Shivalik, the Light Combat Aircraft and Advanced Light Helicopter, the Kalvari Class Submarine and the GSAT-7, Rukmani Satellite.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) comprised 144 airmen and four officers, led by Squadron Leader Rashmi Thakur. Squadron Leaders Sumita Yadav and Pratiti Ahluwalia and Flight Lieutenant Kirti Rohil did the march past as supernumerary officers behind the Contingent Commander. The IAF tableau is on the theme ‘Bharatiya Vayu Sena: Saksham, Sashakt, Aatmanirbhar’.
The tableau depicted LCA Tejas and Su-30 flying over the IOR, and a C-295 transport aircraft being flown by women aircrew in the cockpit. The GSAT- 7A positioned on the tableau represents the IAF’s incorporation of space technology in its operations. The tableau showed that IAF has been at the forefront of rendering humanitarian aid, both within and across borders.
Another highlight of the parade was the Veterans’ Tableau on the theme ‘Rashtra Nirmaan: Pehle Bhi, Ab Bhi, Aage Bhi aur Hamesha’. It showcased the bravery and sacrifices of the ex-servicemen in the service of the nation.