Hello, Warriors! Established on 8 October 1932, it then possessed the strength of 25 soldiers of which 19 were air soldiers. Ever since then, the Indian Air Force went through extreme modernisation and expansion, both in the strength of man and technology, and now, it’s a dream of every air warrior of the IAF to be airborne in a Su-30 at least once in his/her lifetime.
The following are the facts about the IAF which you need to know as a defence aspirant:
- Indian Air Force is the fourth largest and professionally acclaimed strategic Air Force in the world and operates around 33 squadrons. With around 1,70,000 personnel and 1,500 aircraft, it is behind of The U.S., Russian and Chinese Air Forces.
- It is also the seventh strongest Air Force in the world, better than Germany, Australia and Japan.
- Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon is the only IAF officer who has been awarded the Param Vir Chakra, in recognition of lone defence of Srinagar Air Base against PAF during Indo-Pak war 1971.
- The IAF flag, adopted in 1951, is blue in colour, containing the National Flag in the first quadrant and a roundel of the colours of the National Flag. Its crest is considered to be of great historical and sentimental value and is approved by the President of India.
- At its peak, IAF once operated about 224 squadrons.
- The first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst, made the IAF an independent service under no control of the Army.
- Its motto “Nabha Sparsham Deeptham” is taken from the eleventh chapter of the Gita. The way Lord Krishna shows his supreme divine form to Arjuna, in a similar way, the Indian Air Force aims to overwhelm the adversaries with the application of aerospace power in defence of the nation.
- Arjan Singh holds the rank as an Indian Air Force Marshall. In recognition of his services, he was awarded a ‘Five Star’ rank in the year 2002.
- Padmavati Bandopadhayay, The first woman Air Marshall of the Indian Air Force, she is the second woman in IAF to be promoted to a three-star rank. She was awarded the Vishist Seva Medal (VSM) for her conduct during Indo-Pak War 1971 and has shown courage many times.
- The Air Force has over 60 airbases spread all over India. These are grouped into 7 commands. With 16 airbases, the Western Air Command is the largest Air Command.
- Garud Commando Force is the special operation unit of IAF that consists of approximately 1500 personnel. The unit derbies its name from Garuda, the divine mythical bird in Hindu Mythology. It’s tasked with the protection of critical installations and Frey take control under hostilities.
- The IAF created a world record by performing the highest landing of a C-130J at the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in Ladakh at the height of 16614 feet (5065 meters).
- The IAF’s primary air superiority fighter with the additional capability to conduct air-ground (strike) missions is Sukhoi Su-30MKI. The IAF is the only air force that operates C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Super Hercules, and Il-76 – the three largest transport aircraft.