Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to inaugurate IAF Heritage Centre in Chandigarh Monday

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Chandigarh: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the first-of-its-kind Indian Air Force Heritage Centre here on Monday, officials said.

It was set up under a memorandum of understanding between the Union Territory of Chandigarh and the IAF, signed last year.

Last month, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari visited the Indian Air Force Heritage Centre to review its progress.

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Spread over 17,000 square feet, this is the first heritage centre of the IAF and depicts its role in various wars, including in 1965 and 1971 and the Kargil war, and the Balakot air strike through murals and memorabilia.

Its exhibits will be a source of inspiration for future generations and will showcase the indomitable spirit of the Indian Air Force.

Divided into various sections, the heritage centre has several attractions such as aircraft models, aero engines and weapons, including Gryazev-Shipunov twin barrelled guns.

The centre also showcases augmented reality, hologram, virtual reality, and electro mechanical enclosures, interactive kiosks highlighting various facets of the IAF, officials said.

There are also flying simulators at the centre which will give flight experience to visitors.

Among the attractions of the heritage centre include five vintage aircraft and SAM-III Pechora missiles.

A Hindustan Piston Trainer-32 primary flying trainer aircraft has been on display at the centre. Its period of operation in the Indian Air Force was from 1977 to 2009. A MiG 21 single seat fighter has also been positioned.

Besides, Air Force Kanpur 1, which was made by Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh in 1958, has been positioned. A GNAT aircraft (Sabre Slayer) 1971 fame is also on the display.

The centre also has a special segment which has been dedicated to women officers in the IAF for their contribution for the service of the nation.

The role of leading women officers depicted at the heritage centre include Sqn Ldr Nivedita Choudhary (Retd), the first woman officer of the IAF to summit the Mount Everest, Air Marshal Padma Bandopadhyay (Retd), the first woman promoted as Air Marshal.

The centre displays the glorious history of IAF with the help of murals depicting various war campaigns of IAF starting with the role of IAF in Indo-Pak war of 1948 to electro mechanical 3D-dioramas depicting the latest operations of IAF such as the Balakot Air Strike.

An audio-visual gallery will present the journey of IAF through time, tracing its evolution from its inception to the modern day as well as promotional movies on IAF.

There is a section where uniforms of the IAF will be shown, besides an enclosure for IAF ranks and badges. One section of the walls also displays several rescue operations of the IAF.

The centre also houses a souvenir shop.

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( With inputs from )

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