|Indian Air Force Rafale. The new India's combat aircraft to make its public debut during Air Force Day Parade 2020.|
The new Indian Air Force (IAF) Rafale fighter jet will make its public flight debut during the Indian Air Force 88th Anniversary Day parade at Hindon Air Base on October 8.
A Rafale jet will lead the formation called "Vijay", followed by two Jaguars and two Mirage 2000 fighters, an IAF officer said. The Rafale should also perform some asynchronous maneuvers with other aircraft during the parade.
This year's parade will include 56 aircraft: 19 fighters, 19 helicopters, 7 transport aircraft, 7 aircraft from the Suryakiran aerobatic team and 2 vintage aircraft. It will also showcase the new indigenous Tejas Mk1A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) that India is expected to procure by the end of the year.
The IAF received the first batch of 5 Rafales in late July and is expected to receive the second batch of 4 aircraft in November. The first squadron will be completed by the end of 2021 with two Squadrons fully operational by 2023.
The first batch was officially assigned to the 17 Squadron "Golden Arrows" at Ambala Air Force Base on September 10. India signed a deal with France in 2016 to procure 36 Rafale aircraft.
Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Indian Air Force