Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday inaugurated the first-of-its-kind Indian Air Force (IAF) Heritage Centre here.

The country's first IAF Heritage Centre, spanning over an area of 17,000 sq ft, has been set up in the Government Press building in Sector 18 to preserve the rich heritage of the IAF and to inspire the young minds to join the armed forces.

Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator Banwarilal Purohit, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari and Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher were also present on the occasion, among others.

Following the approval of the Defence Minister, a memorandum of understanding on the heritage centre was signed between the Chandigarh administration and the IAF on June 3, 2022, in the presence of Punjab Governor Purohit.

The centre reflects the role of IAF in various wars through murals and memorabilia and is equipped with informative exhibits like augmented reality, virtual reality, hologram, flying simulators, aero engines, electro mechanical enclosures, multimedia and interactive kiosks, highlighting the various facets of the IAF.

The main attractions of the heritage centre are five vintage aircraft and SAM-III Pechora missiles safeguarding the Indian sky since decades.

Air Force 'Kanpur-l' is installed inside the centre, which was designed and built by late Air Vice Marshal Harjinder Singh in 1958. This aircraft is a testimony to be seen as a moment of glory for future generations to understand the significance of self-reliance, innovation and the dream of 'Make in India'.

A GNAT aircraft (Sabre Slayer) 1971 Fame is displayed on the main roundabout of Chandigarh while vintage aircraft like MiG-21, HPT-32 and MiG-23 are installed in the centre which will serve as a popular tourist attraction.

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 the Indo-Pak war of 1948 to electro mechanical 3D-Dioramas depicting the latest operations of IAF such as the Balakot strike.

An augmented reality enclosure and a virtual reality enclosure will give the visitors a 3D real-time experience in the theme of the historic battle of Longewala.

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

Holographic projection depicting aircraft interceptions and various aircraft on inventory of IAF will also be shown.

The centre has scale models from the Republic Day tableau on display such as indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft, Prachand helicopter and AEW&C Netra aircraft as IAF's initiative towards the vision of the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.