Preparations are underway at the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh to celebrate the 90th Air Force Day on Saturday. This year’s celebration is historic as this is said to be the first time the event will be hosted outside the Hindon base of Delhi-NCR Ghaziabad.

A dress rehearsal was conducted on Monday, involving combat aircraft, transport planes and helicopters including the Chinook heavy-lift choppers. Group Captain A Rathi informed that a total of 74 aircrafts including single-engine MiG-21 and fighter, transport planes and helicopters will participate in the event scheduled for Saturday, news agency ANI reported.

This year, the Indian Air Force has more reasons to celebrate after it inducted the first batch of indigenously-developed light combat helicopters (LCH), named ‘Prachand’, in the presence of defence minister Rajnath Singh in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur on Monday.

Singh addressed the event saying ‘Prachand’ is the proof of India’s commitment towards self-reliance and its induction will enhance our defence capability.

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“There could not have been a better timing for LCH induction than Navratri and in the land of warriors, Rajasthan,” Singh said, adding that the LCH is a result of research and development for two decades.

“For a long time, there was a need for attack helicopters and during the 1999 Kargil war, its need was felt seriously. The LCH is a result of research and development for two decades and its induction into IAF is an important milestone in defence production,” Singh further said.

(With inputs from ANI)

By Shadab

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