Rafale aircraft makes debut on Republic Day flypast

The newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft featured for the first time in India’s Republic Day flypast as it carried out the ‘Brahmastra’ formation alone and was part of the ‘Eklavya’ formation with four other fighter jets.

The fighter jet conducted Eklavya formation by flying at a height of around 300 meter along with two Jagaur and two MIG-29 aircraft. The five jets resembled a V shape with Rafale leading the pack.

The 25,000 strong audience was able to see Rafale fighter jet again when it culminated the flypast by conducting the Brahmastra formation wherein it traversed at a low altitude for some distance, then pulled up vertically at 90 degrees and conducted rolls before stabilising at a higher altitude.

In a major boost to India’s air power capability, five French-made multirole Rafale fighter jets were inducted into the IAF on September 10 last year.

A total of 38 IAF aircraft and four planes of the Indian Army participated in the flypast on Tuesday.

As is traditionally the case on Republic Day, flypast was divided into two blocks: the first was along with the parade and the second was after the parade.

In the first block, there were three formations. The first was the ‘Nishan’ formation comprising of four Mi17V5 aircraft that carried the national flag and logos of all three services.

It was followed by the ‘Dhruv’ formation by four helicopters of Army Aviation Corps.

The last was the ‘Rudra’ formation — comprising a single…

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