New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to celebrate its 86th anniversary today. The IAF has organised a grand Parade cum Investiture Ceremony at Ghaziabad’s Hindon Air Force Station, said a report on Zeenews. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff will be present apart from various other dignitaries and veterans. (Also read: ‘Rafale, S-400 Like Booster Dose For Force’) Also Read - India Clears Tejas Jet Deal Worth Rs 48K Crore, PM Says Step to Strengthen Movement for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'
The celebrations include a parade, an air show which will have vintage aircraft, modern transport aircraft and frontline fighter aircraft. The air show will begin at 8 AM with flag bearing skydivers of the famous AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of AN-32 aircraft. Also Read - Indian Air Force Recruitment 2021: Golden Opportunity to Work as Airmen, 12th Pass Candidates Can Also Apply
Flypast will include Mi-17 V5 and Rudra helicopters, Dornier, C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft, Jaguar, Bison, MiG-29, Mirage-2000 and SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft. The other aircraft to be part of the flypast will be Dakota, Tiger Moth and Harvard of the IAF Vintage flight. Light Combat Aircraft will also carry out an aerobatic display, said the report. Also Read - IAF's MiG-21 Bison Fighter Jet Crashes Near Rajasthan's Suratgarh
Meanwhile, MiG-29 is back with an upgrade and it has more teeth now, said reports. The aircraft is now capable of effecting mid-air refuelling and is compatible with latest missiles. It can launch multi-dimensional attacks, Flight Lieutenant Karan Kohli, who is deployed at Adampur Air Force Station, told PTI.
The aircraft, even in the previous version, played an important role during the Kargil War of 1999. Last week, the upgraded MiG-29 showcased its combat capabilities at Admapur Air Force Station. “With the upgrade, as compared to previous ‘legacy version’ of the MiG-29 bought under the emergency clause in the early 1980s, the fighter jets are capable to give befitting response,” said an official, requesting anonymity, when asked about any possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.
The IAF chief has reiterated often enough that the force was reeling under a severe shortage of fighter aircraft. He has said the force currently had 31 squadrons of fighter jets against the sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons. “Even when we do have 42 squadrons, we will be below the combined numbers of two of our regional adversaries,” he had said. The IAF has three squadrons of MiG-29 fighter jets in operation, two of them at the Adampur Air Force Station. One squadron comprises 16-18 aircraft.