Military might on display at parade
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The recent outrage followed by the beheading of an Army soldier on the LoC was also spoken about at the parade and the role of the armed forces in maintaining a "dignified silence" was lauded. "The message from the top brass of our military couldn't be clearer. India will not tolerate such breaches of trust and decency," the commentary said.
The mood was lightened after the parade began in earnest after a 21-gun salute and much acclaimed flypast by Mi 17 V 5 choppers. The march past began with a drive through by the three surviving Param Vir Chakra winners, followed by eight Ashok Chakra winners, including Maj Gen Cyrus Pithawalla, the first one with the honours to reach the rank of a two-star General.
Among the Army systems on display were the Arjun tank, the BrahMos weapon system, the Pinaka multiple rocket launcher system and the Advanced Light Helicopters. The Naval tableau featured the INS Vikramaditya, the Russian origin aircraft carrier that has long been delayed and is expected to now enter service this year. The Air Force showcased its new upcoming inductions, including the C 17 Globermaster III and the Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft.
The biggest system on display was the 5000 km range Agni V nuclear missile that was test fired last year in April. While several of the marching contingent from the armed forces to the police and paramilitary received good applause, as well as the tableau displays of states and government departments, the biggest cheer of the crowd was reserved for the motorcycle display team of the Army Service Corps that is nicknamed 'Tornadoes'.
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