IAF’s Sarang helicopter team to perform at the MAKS air show in Russia

Published : July 20, 2021 22:04 IST

The Sarang helicopter team at the MAKS air show, Russia on July 20. -PTI

The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sarang Helicopter Team that flies four modified Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-manufactured ‘Dhruv’ helicopters, will be performing at the MAKS International Air Show that got under way at the Zhukovsky International Airport, just outside the Russian capital of Moscow, on July 20 and will be on up to July 25. The biennial air show is an important fixture on the international aerospace exhibitions calendar for the  behemoths and minnows.

The made-in-India multirole Dhruv, also known as the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH),  is designed with a hingeless rotor and  equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, making it suitable for military aviation. This is its first performance at the MAKS. The IAF’s Sarang, was formed in October 2003 and had its first international performance in 2004 at the Asian Aerospace Airshow in Singapore. Since then the team has enthralled crowds at several aero shows, including the Aero India jamborees at the Air Force Station at Yelahanka.

The Sarang team has represented India at air shows and ceremonial occasions in the U.A.E., Germany, the U.K., Bahrain, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka. Apart from aerobatics displays at national and international venues, the team has taken part in numerous humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions such as Operation Rahat in Uttarakhand (2013), Cyclone Ockhi in Kerala (2017) and Operation Karuna flood relief in Kerala (2018).

The Sarang team’s sojourn in Russia will coincide with the visit of the Indian Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh’s visit to that country. The Indian Navy has been invited to take part in the Russian Navy’s 325th anniversary celebrations. Parades are scheduled to be held at various locations, including St. Petersburg, Kronstadt, Vladivostok, in the Far East and in the Crimea on July 25 to mark ‘Russian Navy Day’. The parades will be marked by spectacular displays by several types of helicopters and aircraft.

Admiral Karambir Singh is slated to meet his Russian counterpart Admiral Nikolai Yemenov. He is also scheduled to visit the Kaliningrad shipyard where two Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates are being built for the Indian Navy.

At the MAKS airshow, Russian President Vladimir Putin is slated to unveil a new Sukhoi fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, which the Russians are pitting against America’s F-35 stealth fighter. While Russia already possesses fourth-generation fighter aircraft — the heavy-class Sukhoi Su-27 and light-class Mikoyan MiG-29 — it has only one heavy-class fifth generation fighter jet, the Su-57, that was unveiled at the MAKS air show in 2011.