Zhukovsky, Moscow. 23 July 2021. The national flag, the Indian Armed Forces and displays by our soldiers always get goosebumps. As the sky above MAKS 2021 was full of roars of fighters , choppers and commercial aircraft, all this roar was not Russian. Some roars were from India’s very own helicopter display team of the Indian Air Force Sarang, which set Moscow skies burning with the beautiful red choppers creating magic to a gasping audience. ADU had the honour to meet these heroes and interview the Commanding Officer Wing Commander Girish Komar, at the IAF chalet at the Moscow Air Show. Enjoy reading.
ADU. How does it feel to be here flying in the Russian skies?
GK. It is a great privilege and joy to be a part of MAKS 21 and to bring the Sarang colours to the Russian skies. It is a matter of honour for us to represent the Indian Air Force and to showcase the achievements of the Indian Aviation Industry for this prestigious event. This was a long-awaited event for us to showcase our helicopters and their capabilities.
ADU. Did you undergo a special training for this event?
GK. The team underwent comprehensive preparation for its display detachment, before coming to Russia to showcase our best manoeuvres.
ADU. How did you ferry the choppers from India to Moscow?
GK. The IAF’s heavy lift C-17 Globemaster III aircraft were utilised to transport our five helicopters, men and material from India to Russia.
ADU. Is the Russian Airforce giving you technical help in keeping the choppers ready?
GK. The Sarang team is more or less self-sufficient when it comes to setting up of detachments for air displays, both within India and abroad. The only assistance required by the team is for hangar space, manoeuvring area and basic administrative and technical support. The Russian support agencies have graciously provided us with all the assistance that we require for safe flying during the event and to put up a stunning show, just like we do in India. The Indian Mission here has also provided the necessary assistance to the team.
ADU. Are your displays here different from the ones you do at Air Force Day parade?
GK. The displays that we undertake involve the same signature manoeuvres that the team has evolved over the last almost two decades. However, there can be minor differences from one venue to another based on the time slot provided to us and the environmental peculiarities, if any. The display here is similar to the Air Force day display.
ADU. How did you like MAKS as a show? Have you been interacting with the Russian and Korean display teams?
GK. MAKS 21 has been a fantastic venue for the Team to show case our Aeronautical capabilities, and at same time sharing the platform with our Russian and other foreign counterparts. Our team has not had an opportunity as yet to interact with the Russian and Korean display teams.
Post Script : The Sarang team here has these two young girls who are not only the pride of Sarang but also of Indian aerospace. Three cheers for the women power of Indian Air Force.