Shivangi Singh, India’s first female Rafale fighter aircraft pilot, was among the Indian Air Force’s tableau during the Republic Day celebration on Wednesday. She is only the second female fighter jet pilot in the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) history.
Flight Lieutenant Bhawna Kanth, the first female fighter jet pilot in the IAF, made history last year. Ms Singh, a Varanasi native, joined the Indian Air Force in 2017 and was commissioned as part of the IAF’s second batch of female fighter pilots. Prior to piloting the Rafale, she had flown MiG-21 Bison aircraft. She is a member of the Indian Air Force’s Golden Arrows squadron, which is based in Ambala, Punjab.
The topic of the IAF tableau was “Indian Air Force Transforming for the Future.” The float included scaled-down versions of the Rafale fighter jet, an indigenously designed light combat helicopter (LCH), and the Aslesha MK-1 3D observation radar. It also included a scaled-down model of the MiG-21 aircraft, which played a key part in India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that resulted in the formation of Bangladesh, as well as a model of India’s first indigenously manufactured aircraft, the Gnat.
The first batch of Rafale fighter jets arrived on July 29, 2020, roughly four years after India and France agreed to purchase 36 aircraft for a total cost of 59,000 crores. The IAF has received 32 Rafale jets so far, with four more scheduled to arrive in April.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi began the Republic Day parade by paying a visit to the National War Memorial. The National Flag was unfurled as is customary, followed by the National Anthem and a thunderous 21-gun salute. The salute was given by President Ram Nath Kovind at the start of the parade. March Commander, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva Medal, a second-generation Army officer, led the parade. The Parade Second-in-Command was Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area.
India’s military prowess and cultural diversity were on display at the Republic Day Parade 2022. This year, the procession will feature tableaux from 12 states and union territories, as well as nine ministries and departments. Haryana, Chattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are among them.