J&K: IAF Dazzles Udhampur Sky With Chinooks, Rafales

The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) two-engine tandem-rotor Chinook and newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft stole the show at the air show that was held in Udhampur.

| Updated: 12 October, 2022 11:15 pm IST

The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) two-engine tandem-rotor Chinook and newly inducted Rafale fighter aircraft stole the show at the air show that was held in Udhampur on Wednesday.

The visitors saw the Chinook helicopter in action, which came last in the flypast sequence but raised goosebumps in spectators, which included school children, NCC cadets, families of defence personnel, and senior Air Force and army officials.

Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Air Marshal S Prabhakaran, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Air Command and Air Vice Marshal PK Vohra, AVSM, VM, AOC-in-C were also present to witness the air show along with other senior military, para-military personnel and various civil dignitaries.

The Chinook performed manoeuvres on emergency falls, vertical climbs, turning and horizontal flying.

The multi-mission helicopter made two such runs, much to the excitement of the large crowd that had gathered to watch the show. The Indian Air Force inducted four Chinook heavy-lift choppers in 2019.

India paid close to $1.5 billion for 15 of these helicopters, which would also be used for deploying troops and machinery at high-altitude locations.

The attraction of the show was the most talked about aircraft of recent times, the Rafale, which enthralled the viewers with its roaring sound and unmatched manoeuvres.

The aircraft flew in low formation to the southern side of the runway and passed the venue within a fraction of a second before disappearing into high clouds. Many in the audience just recognised its smog and roar and weren’t able to get a glimpse during its first appearance. However, it makes an entry to perform a tactical stunt.

In September 2016, India and France signed an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) for 36 Rafale multi-role fighter jets in fly-away condition.

The first unit of Rafale aircraft was stationed at Ambala Air Force Station in 2020 under 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’.

The flypast not only displayed state-of-the-art warplanes like Rafale and Sukhoi and helicopters like Chinook and Apache, but it also displayed the IAF’s prowess as it showcased its combat operations as well as civil missions in front of people, including civilians who came to experience the might of the Indian Air Force.

The flypast under IAF’s Air and Statistical Display featured the finest coordination of the air force’s old as well as new aircraft.

The flypast began with skydiving by a team of Akash Ganga from An32 and was followed by dazzling air manoeuvres by the Jaguar aircraft.

In addition to this, the other aircraft and helicopters on-air display in Udhampur were the Rafale, MiG-29, Sukhoi-30 MKI, Super Hercules, Apache and Chinook.

Notably, the stunning air display in J&K Udhampur demonstrated the ability of the Indian Air Force to operate in the tough terrain of the Union Territory bordering China and Pakistan.

This event was the first of its kind in Udhampur, which successfully brought the IAF closer to the hundreds of students from various schools and colleges who attended the event and were enthralled by it

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