Integrated display of Surya Kiran and Sarang to be highlight of Aero India 2021

The integrated air display of Surya Kiran and Sarang of Indian Air Force (IAF) will be the highlight of the 13th Aero India show, which starts on February 3, at Yelahanka air force base. The event is the first global air show in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The combination of Surya Kiran’s BAE Hawk Mk 132 and Sarang’s Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv will be seen for the first time. This edition is expected to see reduced participation in both air display and static display in comparison with earlier editions.

“The two teams so far have performed individually. The coming together of IAF’s two aerobatic teams will be the highlight of this year’s air show,” Air Commodore Shailendra Sood, Air Officer-Commanding of the Yelahanka Training Command, said on Friday.

The normal five-day event has been reduced to three days, with public not being allowed.

In all, about 42 aircraft would be taking part in the flying display, which include Dakota, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Su-30Mk1 besides MI-17, Light Combat Helicopter, Embraer and C-17 Globemaster, the military transport aircraft.

“The Chinook helicopter is also likely to be part of the air display,” Air Commodore Sood said.

So far, confirmation has come for 63 aircraft to be displayed in the static area.

“In both flying display and static display, the number of aircraft participating will be known by the end of the month. It is a dynamic situation. So far, for the flying display 11 foreign aircraft have registered,” he added.


The newly inducted Rafael will be part of the inaugural fly past. A senior officer said, “Because of the COVID-19 fears, situation is very fluid. Some companies had come forward but have not confirmed. A clear situation will emerge by next week.”

The participation has been capped to 15,000 visitors to the exhibition area and 3,000 people to the air display area owing to COVID-19 restrictions

As part of the security drill, the State government will prohibit flying of drones in a 100-km radius of the venue. The Indian Air Force will deploy 2 AN-32 and 2 MI-17 helicopters for casualty evacuation, and Su-30Mk1 and MI-17 helicopters as part of a three-tier air security cover.

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Sagar Biswas

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