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Obama to witness India�s military might

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Jan 25 � India will tomorrow celebrate its 66th Republic Day, showcasing before the chief guest, US President Barack Obama, and the world its military might and cultural diversity with a splendid display of land and naval weaponry, fighter and reconnaissance aircraft, reports PTI.

With �Women�s Empowerment� being the theme of this year�s Republic Day parade, the main attraction of the annual extravaganza would be marching contingents of all-women officers of the three Services.

Defence sources say the thought of having an all-women contingent came from Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself as he wanted the Services to focus on �Nari Shakti�.

Tableaux from 16 States and nine Central Ministries and departments will present the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country.

The theme of most of the tableaux this year will have imprints of the Prime Minister�s pet projects like �Jan Dhan Yojna�, �Maa Ganga�, �Swachh Bharat Abhiyan�, bullet train and the �Make in India� drive.

Another attraction would be the display of Army version of indigenously developed surface-to-air �Akash� medium- range missile and Weapon Locating Radar, both by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

For the first time, India will display its recently acquired long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine P-8I aircraft and the long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter plane.

The Army�s laser-guided missile capable T-90 �Bheeshma� tank, infantry combat vehicle BMP-II (�Sarath�) followed by T-72 with �Trawl� will be the main draw in the mechanised columns.

These will be followed by �Pinaka� multiple barrel launcher system. The Mobile Autonomous Launcher of BrahMos missile system, three dimensional tactical control radar, satellite on the move communication platform and rapidly deployable satellite terminal (RADSAT) would come next.

An Indian Air Force tableau with the theme �50 years of 1965 War� will follow them at the majestic Rajpath.

The IAF has proudly put on display aircraft which have proved their prowess in the 1965 Indo-Pak war � the Gnat, the Vampire, followed by the Canberra bomber, MI-4 helicopter and Packet transport aircraft.

In keeping with the Indian Navy�s theme �Ensuring Safe Seas for a Resurgent Nation� � the Naval Tableau will display a few of its frontline assets in all four dimensions of maritime warfare.

Navy�s march to self-reliance and indigenisation will be showcased by the models of indigenously constructed destroyer INS Kolkata launching a BrahMos missile with the Advanced Light Helicopter �Dhruv� in the background.

The second tableau, titled �Bharatiya Nau Sena aur Nari Shakti�, will show the four Indian Navy women officers who braved vagaries of the seas and participated in an ocean voyage from Goa to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil onboard Indian Naval Sailing Vessel �Mhadei�.

The Republic Day parade ceremony will commence at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where Modi will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath.

As per tradition, after unfurling of the Tricolour, the National Anthem will be played with a 21-gun salute. The parade will then commence and President Pranab Mukherjee will take the salute.

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