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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Military Hardware Displayed During India's Republic Day 2017 Parade

Photo-essay of Weapon systems safeguarding the Republic of India.

India's Republic Day Parade 2017

India's Republic Day [RD] parade, on January 26, each year, provides an opportunity to catch glimpse of a sampling of the country's military hardware in their shiniest, squeakiest clean form. This year, too, the country's 3 Armed Forces, including the DRDO & OFB showcased a few jewels, some that made their RD parade debut, much to the delight of onlookers.

Click on the images to view them in larger size. Many can be used as wallpapers.

  • Akash Surface to Air Missile

Akash Air Defence Surface to Air Missile [SAM] - Indian Army - Republic Day 2017

This indigenously developed Air Defence system, in service with, both, the Indian army, as well as the Air Force, is capable of simultaneously tracking & detecting 64 aerial targets, & guide 8 missiles at a time, neutralising 4 targets 25 km away. Recent developments could see this formidable system being exported to Vietnam, making it the first export customer.

  • 155 mm / 45 Caliber Dhanush Howitzer

155 mm / 45 Caliber Dhanush Howitzer - Indian Army - Republic Day 2017

This Ordnance Factory Board [OFB] display is an upgraded version of the 155 mm / 39 Caliber Swedish Fälthaubits 77B [FH77B] howitzer, that had, earlier, rained destruction on entrenched pakistan occupied positions during the Kargil War. OFB's Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory [GCF] has extended its range to 38 km, up from the original 30 km. Induction into the Army is set to commence shortly.

  • T-90 Bhishma Main Battle Tank

T-90 Main Battle Tank Bhishma - Indian Army

The latest numerical iteration of the Soviet-era T-series tank in the Army's inventory. Together with the older T-72 Tanks, the T-90 forms the bulk of the Indian Army's Armoured force. From all accounts, it is a satisfied customer, having recently placed a follow-on order of T-90MS tanks, an advanced variant of the tank.

  • BMP-II Sarath Infantry Fighting Vehicle

BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicle Sarath - Indian Army

Travelling in the BMP-II Infantry Fighting Vehicle [IFV] enables soldiers to keep pace with the high-speed Tank-lead Armoured thrust into enemy territory. The Government, recently, awarded the OFB a contract to upgrade the BMP-2, a project the private sector had been looking forward to executing via competitive bidding.

Kicked off as part of India's 2008 Defence Procurement Procedure [DPP], under the 'Make' category, & now under the Make In India initiative, a consortium of private sector participants have been tasked with developing the BMP-series' successor, the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle [FICV].

  • CBRN Recce Vehicle

CBRN Recce Vehicle - Indian Army

A modified BMP-2K vehicle, this indigenously developed special-purpose vehicle would allow the Army to undertake reconnaissance of the battlefield in an environment contaminated by Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear [CBRN] weapons.

  • Weapon Locating Radar [Swathi]

Weapon Locating Radar - Swathi - DRDO - Indian Army

Operated by the Indian Army, this indigenous system allows for determination of point of origin of incoming artillery fire, in order to launch a counter-assault. Built around a phased array Passive Electronically Scanned Array [PESA] radar, it has been jointly developed by India's Electronics & Radar Development Establishment [LRDE] & Bharat Electronics Limited [BEL].

  • Transportable Satellite Terminal

Transportable Satellite Terminal - Indian Army

In service with the Corps of Signals, Mobile Satellite Terminals allows for setting up an ad-hoc communication system in midst of the battlefield. Linking with India's communication satellites in the Ku-Band, it enables communication using Internet Protocol [IP] Radio to provide encrypted Field Wireless System-based voice & data connectivity.

  • Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] Tejas

Light Combat Aircraft - LCA - Indian Air Force - IAF

Making its debut at the RD ceremonies, these recently inducted LCA Tejas, flying in three aircraft formation, was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the parade. Export potentials also being explored.

  • C-17 Globemaster III Transporter

C-17 Globemaster III - Indian Air Force - IAF

These relatively newly acquired transport aircrafts, in service, with the Indian Air Force [IAF], were recently deployed to airlift much needed fuel to the Indian state of Manipur, that has been blockaded by the United Naga Council for the past 3 months. India plans to place a follow-on order of another one of these aircraft from its OEM, Boeing. It is, in fact, being bought off the shelf, & can buy no more brand new C-17 aircrafts. It was the last airframe Boeing built, before shutting down its C-17 Assembly Line, & auctioning off the equipment.

  • SEPECAT Jaguar Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft

SEPECAT Jaguar Fighter Aircraft - Indian Air Force - IAF

A veteran of India's annual festivities, the Jaguars are designed to fly in low, carrying "truck-load" of bombs, to render waste to enemy ground. India, today, remains the sole operator of this Anglo-French development, with Oman retiring theirs last in 2014. So satisfied is the IAF with the aircraft, that it intends to continue its use into the next decade, upgrading them to the latest DARIN-III standard, along with a long-standing proposal to replace its engine, with a higher performing one.

  • MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighter

MiG-29 Fighter Aircraft - Indian Air Force - IAF

Yet another veteran of RD parade, a variant of these Soviet-era fighters are now also in service with the Indian Navy.

  • Sukhoi Su-30MKI Air Dominance Aircraft

Sukhoi Su-30MKI - Flanker - Indian Air Force - IAF

These imposing aircrafts, considered as a marvel of Russian Engineering, have long fascinated the West for their near-mythical aura. As per Indian requirements, additional capabilities were added to it, developing the MKI variant. So, delighted were they when India decided to fly in with theses beauties for the Red Flag Exercises in 2008 - they weren't disappointed. With their 3-axis Thrust Vector Control [TVC] engines, an aerial demonstration involving the Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a sight to behold.

  • Land-launched BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile

BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile - Indian Army

The world's first Supersonic land-attack Cruise Missile, this joint India-Russia development effort has been adapted for launch from all three media - sea, air or land. Recently, the BrahMos Corporation revealed plans to further increase the speed of the missile, besides making it reusable. The photograph was taken on January 23, 2017, during the full dress rehearsal.

  • Troop Level Radar

BEL Troop Level Radar - Indian Army

Also taking part in the full dress rehearsal was the BEL-developed Troop Level Radar. Did not make the final cut. Took part in the final parade, too.

Performing a flypast for the first time was India's vigilant eye in the sky, the Airborne Early Warning & Control System [AEW&CS], recently christened Nethra, meaning eye. The first of this force-multiplier is set for induction into the IAF shortly. In addition to the OFB-developed Dhanush Howitzer, DRDO displayed its 155 mm / 55 caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System [ATAGS], that was developed in collaboration with the Kalyani Group & Tata Power of the private sector. 3 formation flypast by the IAF's Mil Mi-35 attack helicopter set the ball rolling. DRDO, for its part, along with the ATAGS, seen above, displayed its 4D Arudhra Medium-Power Radar [MPR], which it describes as, "the  first  indigenous  rotating  active phased  array multi-function radar  with Digital  Beam  forming  technology".

Though, this post is primarily dedicated to the machine, some men stood out, too.

  • UAE Combined Services Military Marching Contingent

UAE Marching Contingent - Republic Day 2017 - India

With the UAE Crown Prince in attendance as this year's Chief Guest, the kingdom flew in a contingent of their soldiers, drawn from all its services to march down the Rajpath, alongside their Indian counterparts. This trend was set in 2009, when contingents from all 3 of India's Armed Services performed a March-past in France to commemorate the Bastille Day. This was reciprocated by the French during last year's parade, with the French President as Chief Guest, receiving salute from French soldiers.

  • National Security Guard [NSG] Commando

National Security Guard - NSG - Commando - India

The tip of India's spear in its fight against terrorism, taking part in the celebrations for the very first time. Formidable, a force they are. They are seen here armed with the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun. Some of them also appear to sport a sidearm, strapped to their thighs. Likely to be the Glock 17 pistol, that they are known to use.

Republic Day Parade 2017 - India

Pictures courtesy the Govt of India's Press Information Bureau.

All said and done though, the military parades in the past had a more formidable appearance. They would even mount actual fighter aircrafts on trailers & roll it down the Kingsway Road, a display more worthy of the day. Bring back the days of the yore!


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