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Republic Day parade will see army display evolution of uniform, rifles

The mechanised columns of the Indian Army will include vintage weapons and platforms as well as their modern counterparts

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Marching contingents of Indian Army soldiers will showcase how their uniforms and rifles have evolved since 1950s at the Republic Day parade this year. The mechanised columns will include “a mix of the vintage and modern” weapon systems and platforms, Delhi area chief of staff Major General Alok Kacker said on 23 January.

In the first of the six army contingents at the Republic Day parade, Rajput Regiment soldiers will be seen wearing the uniform of the 1950s and carrying the vintage Lee-Enfield .303 rifles. They will be followed by Assam Regiment troops donning the uniform from the 1960s along with .303 rifles. The Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry will be the next marching contingent with the uniform of the 1970s and 7.62 mm self-loading rifles. Soldiers of the Light Infantry and Army Ordnance Corps, in turn, will don the present-day olive green uniforms along with the 5.56mm INSAS (Indian small arms system) rifles.

The new combat uniform with a “digital disruptive pattern”, which was unveiled for the first time during the Army Day parade on 15 January, in turn, will be worn by the Parachute Regiment commandos with the Israeli Tavor TAR-21 assault rifles at the Republic Day parade.

There will be a total of 16 marching contingents. Six from the Indian Army, one each from Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, four from the Central Armed Police Forces, one each from the Delhi Police and National Service Scheme, and two from National Cadet Corps , said Maj Gen Kacker.

The mechanised columns at the Republic Day parade will include vintage weapons and platforms like Centurion tanks , HT-16 electronic warfare systems and Tiger Cat missile systems to modern ones like Arjun tanks , Taran Shakti systems and Akash surface-to-air missiles.

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