Republic Day brings about great memories of National Cadet Corps camps, Parades, Republic Day Parade preparations (although I never made it there), my National Defense Academy Selections (which I missed cos of some certificates) well all in all my what-might-have-happened-if career in the Indian Defense; But most of all it reminds me of my childhood days when I would sit glued in front of the television on Republic Day parade when India showed off her military competency or at least the weaponry that we have stacked.
Over the years, I watched the parade slowly change from borrowed technology and bought technology to indigenous technologies taking over. However, I think we all believe that its happened very slowly, especially after we have been watching US based military technology in Hollywood movies, it is getting relatively difficult to impress us. The Indian Government has been increasing the defense budget considerably to develop some of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the scientists from India. All of us know that some of the most popular organizations from the Defense sector have made it through this recession without too much of a hitch, in fact they are some of the most profitable organizations within the government sector and we can figure why.
Getting back to the Republic Day, this year is no other than the previous years we have had. India is going to go in all guns blazing to display some of its technologies that are now on the brink of commissioning. India’s first Indigeneously built multi role fighter aircraft christned ‘Tejas’ (formerly LCA – Light Combat Aircraft) is going into operations at the Indian Air force this year, no wonder that it will make an appearance at the Republic Day this year. Although it has had its share of hurdles for the proposed ‘Kaveri’ engine, the swelling costs, R & D costs etc, the Tejas is a testament of Indian Engineering at par with the best in the world. However, one would have loved to see it fly rather than just being a display. Continuing on the Air force front, the Medium Combat Aircraft another ambitious technological leap from the makers of the Tejas (HAL) and Sukhoi 30-MKI (Sukhoi Industries) who are now working on the specification of the latest Multi Combat Stealth Fighter; is supposed to be better than the the American F22 Raptor, can you imagine that. (Have a look at some of the Artists Impressions (Credits - Alexander Dueller)
Another major highlight of this year’s Republic Day Parade would be the showcasing of the Indian Army’s Arjun tanksand the ambulance-tracked vehicles, “Smerch” multiple rocket launcher systems, engineer reconnaissance vehicle, indigenously built “Sarvatra” bridge, infantry combat vehicles and ICV-based communication vehicles of the Army along with the “Agni” ballistic missile, “Shaurya” canister-launched hypersonic surface-to-surface missile and “Rohini” radars from DRDO. (Check out Equipment of the Indian Army from Wikipedia)
Apart from all the actual military equipment, the Indian Army is looking to introduce Eco friendly technologies in the outposts, by that I mean power generation from renewable sources. Why ? well first of all out Military is in need of such technologies to provide for basic amenities in the remote outposts and also the maintenance and installation costs are going to be far lesser than trying to get to areas like the Siachen Glacier, the highest battle field of the world. It would also help to save the glacier from pollution, as also to cut down on the cost of the fuel and logistic efforts.
All in all it might be an amazing Republic Day parade this year, unless the weather decides to play spoil sport with fog. For all of you who might be interested to see the republic day parade and who might not have access to Doordarshan like me, can check out the parade here online.