Chandigarh (The Stellar News) Saksham Kalia: Indian Airforce is celebrating its 90th anniversary today with a sky show over Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake, first time in history to celebrate this occasion outside Indian Capital.


Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall VR Chaudhary, the chief guest, reviewed the parade and announced the creation of new operational branch of the Air Force.

“On this historic occasion, it’s my privilege to announce that the government has approved the creation of a Weapon System Branch for the officers in the IAF. This is the first time since independence that a new operational branch is being created. This will essentially be for manning of force specialised streams of surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, remotely piloted aircraft, and weapon system operators in twin and multi-crew aircraft,” Air chief VR Chaudhary said, adding that it will save the government more than ₹ 3,400 crore due to the reduced expenditure on flying training.

The Air Chief Marshall also said that the force is planning on induction of women Agniveers starting next year. “Creation of infrastructure is in progress and streamlining of trade structure is being finalised,” he said.

“We have been at the forefront of indigenisation with the induction of light combat aircraft Tejas, Arudhra and Aslesha radar, Astra air-to-air missiles, Akash surface-to-air missile system, advanced light helicopters, integrated air command and control system and integrated material management online system,” the announcer at the event said.

Recently inducted indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) “Prachand” will showcase its aerial prowess during the fly-past in a three aircraft formation.

Developed by state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the 5.8-tonne twin-engine LCH is armed with air-to-air missiles, 20 mm turret guns and rocket systems, and it is capable of destroying enemy tanks, bunkers, drones, and other assets in high-altitude regions.

Besides LCH ‘Prachand’, several other aircraft including Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Sukhoi, Mig-29, Jaguar, Rafale, IL-76, C-130J and Hawk will be part of the fly-past.

Among helicopters, Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, Chinook, Apache and Mi-17 will be part of the aerial display


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