New Delhi: India is on Monday celebrating its 66th Republic Day, and the country's military might and cultural diversity will be showcased at the annual parade at Rajpath. In attendance will be chief guest Barack Obama, president, USA.
Here's what the world's most powerful man can expect at the Republic Day parade:
- Columns of uniformed troops will march down New Delhi`s broad Rajpath avenue while helicopters will shower the crowds with petals.
- The theme of this year's Republic Day parade is "Women's Empowerment" and there will be marching contingents of all-women officers of the three Services.
- Tableaux from 16 states, and nine central ministries and departments will present the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country.
- The theme of most of the tableaux this year will have imprints of the PM's pet projects like 'Jan Dhan Yojna', 'Maa Ganga', 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan', bullet train and the 'Make in India' drive.
- Also on display will be the Army version of indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash medium range missile and Weapon Locating Radar.
- India will display for the first time its recently acquired long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine P-8I aircraft and the long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter plane.
- Indian Army's laser-guided missile capable T-90 Bheeshma tank, infantry combat vehicle BMP-II (Sarath) followed by T-72 with Trawl will be the main draw in the mechanised columns.
- Also showcased will be the 'Pinaka' multiple barrel launcher system. The Mobile Autonomous Launcher of BrahMos missile system, three dimensional tactical control radar, satellite on the move communication platform and rapidly deployable satellite terminal (RADSAT) would come next.
- An Indian Air Force tableau with the theme "50 years of 1965 War" will also be part of the parade at the majestic Rajpath.
- The IAF will display aircraft which have proved their prowess in the 1965 Indo-Pak war -- the Gnat, the Vampire, followed by the Canberra bomber, MI-4 helicopter and Packet transport aircraft.
- The Navy's tableau will display a few of its frontline assets in all four dimensions of maritime warfare. Navy's march to self-reliance and indigenisation will be showcased by the models of indigenously constructed destroyer INS Kolkata launching a BrahMos missile with the Advanced Light Helicopter "Dhruv" in the background.
- Among the show-stopper will be the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel on their brightly-decorated camels -- one of only a few military forces in the world to use the animals.
- Last but not the least will be a display of daring motorcycle stunts by the BSF, famed for their formation of a human pyramid on moving bikes.
- The celebrations will conclude with a spectacular fly-past by the Indian Air Force that will leave behind a smoke-trail of the saffron, white and green national flag.
(With agency inputs)