Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: Weather permitting, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will stage an air show over the Shanghumughom beach at 10 a.m. on July 20, Sunday.

The air show is being held as part of the Southern Air Command’s silver jubilee year celebrations, Air Marshal S.C. Mukul, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, said here on Tuesday.

Two Russian-made Sukhoi 30 MKI heavy class air-superiority multi-role fighter aircraft of the Number Eight Pursuit Squadron and four U.K.-made Jaguar deep-penetration strike bombers of the Number Six Dragon squadron will participate in the air show.

Mock battle

The Sukhois and Jaguars will engage each other in a mock air battle over Shanghumughom beach. The Sukhois will take off from Pune, arrive over Shanghumughom, fly low over the spectators and climb up into the sky again to form a two aircraft combat air patrol.

The Jaguars will take off from Bangalore and attempt to “attack” the demonstration area. The Sukhoi’s orbiting overhead will peel off and engage the “enemy” in a dog fight. The Sukhois will try to gain the tail of the evasive Jaguars to make a “gun kill.”

The Sukhois will execute several hard turns over the spectators and one of the fighters will break formation to display the aircraft’s low speed manoeuvring capability.

Low clouds, rain, strong wind and low visibility may force the IAF to call of the show. The IAF will rehearse the air show at 2 p.m. on July 18 and 19. The rehearsals are open to the public and it will have all the components of the nearly one hour main show.

Governor P.S. Gavai, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran are expected to attend the main event on July 20. If the weather is inclement, the show will be held at 2 p.m. the same day.

The show will begin with a fly past of two MI-8 medium lift helicopters. A close formation of two Avro transport aircrafts will tail the helicopters. The Avros will be followed by three AN-32 transport aircrafts in “VIC” formation.

Surya Kiran

Four subsonic Hindustan Mark-II jet trainer aircraft of the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team will perform over Shanghumughom for nearly 20 minutes. IAF helicopters will demonstrate how commandos are “injected” into battle zones and also how the IAF rescues those stranded in the high seas. The show will conclude with a sky diving demonstration of the IAF’s Akash Ganga team.

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