India displayed its military prowess and amazing social and cultural heritage on its 68th Republic Day parade at the historic Rajpath in New Delhi. The Republic Day parade ceremony began Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.
The three wings of armed forces also showcased their might at the parade.
In some ways, the parade sprung many surprises too. As the celebrations unfolded at Rajpath, here are some interesting debutants who stole the show:
India’s elite counter-terrorism force, the National Security Guard made a sensational debut at the prestigious parade. A team of 140 commandos displayed their amazing skills during the parade. The parade was commanded by Lt General Manoj Mukund Naravane, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area.
The 'black cat commandos’ left the spectators spellbound as they were dressed in their trademark black-coloured overalls, balaclava headgear and special assault rifles MP-5 along with the iconic commando dagger.
The indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas too made its maiden appearance at Rajpath. Developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Tejas, a fourth generation aircraft, is capable of flying at 1,350 km per hour and is comparable to the world’s best fighters, including French Mirage 2000, American F-16 and Swedish Gripen.
The lightweight, supersonic, multi-role single seat fighter was inducted in Indian Air Force’s 45 squadron ‘Flying Daggers’ in July 2016.
India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun ‘Dhanush’ was also displayed for the first time at the 68th Republic Day parade. Manufactured by Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), the 155-mm gun costs about Rs 14.50 crore a piece.