How to become an IAF Surya Kiran Pilot?

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. It was established on 8th October 1932. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of all Indian armed forces and by virtue of that fact is the National Commander-in-chief of the Air Force. The Chief of the Air Staff with the rank of Air chief marshal is the Commander. 

About Surya Kiran

Surya Kiran (Rays of the Sun) is an Indian Air Force aerobatics demonstration team. The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) was founded in 1996 and is part of the Indian Air Force’s 52nd Squadron. Since then, the team has given numerous demonstrations, usually with nine aircraft. Until 2011, the squadron consisted of HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 military trainer aircraft based at the Bidar Air Force Station in Karnataka. The team was suspended in February 2011 and re-established in 2017 with Hawk Mk-132 aircraft.

Aircraft used by Surya Kiran Team

Surya Kiran has 16 HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 trainer planes. The IAF uses the “day-glow orange” and white color scheme painted Kiran MK II to train its fighter pilots in basic fighter maneuvers and weapon delivery. Dr. Gadge, the then-chief designer of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, designed it in 1960, and it was manufactured at HAL Bangalore. This aircraft weighs about five tonnes and is powered by an Orpheus engine with a thrust of 1906 kg, allowing it to reach a top speed of 780 km/h or 0.7 Mach. The Kiran MK II, which is armed with integral guns, 250 kg bombs, and 68 mm rockets, can also be used in counterinsurgency operations.

How to be a Surya Kiran aerobatics team Pilot?

To become a Surya Kiran Pilot one has to get commissioned as a Fighter Pilot in the Indian Air Force. Pilots are chosen twice a year for a three-year tour. Only qualified pilots for fighter aircraft from the Indian Air Force are chosen.

All of the team’s pilots are qualified flying instructors (QFIs) with over 2,000 hours of fighter flying experience and 1,000 hours on the Kiran. The team consists of 13 pilots, with only 9 flying at any given time. The Team is led by a Commanding Officer, who also serves as the formation’s leader during display sorties. The Team Leader can choose his future team pilots after putting them through rigorous flight trials and tests.

The team also included a Flight Commander, an Administrator, and qualified Technical Officers in addition to the pilots. The Flight Commander is in charge of everything.

Also read: Top 5 World’s Best Aerobatic Display Teams

If you want to become a Fighter Pilot In Indian Air Force, here are the options below

Combined Defence Services (CDS)

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the Combined Defense Services Examination (CDSE) twice a year for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.

Graduates (three-year course) in any discipline from a recognised university (with physics and mathematics at 10+2 level)/ BE/ B Tech (four-year course) is required. No percentage Bar is required for CDSE exam. Only men at the age of 20-24 can appear for the exam.

Check Out: CDS 1 2023 Notification And Exam Date. The notification for the Combined Defence Services Examination (I) 2023 will be released on 21st December 2022 according to the Union Public Service Commission calendar. The exam is a national-level examination for the recruitment of candidates into the Indian Military Academy, the Officers’ Training Academy, the Indian Naval Academy, and the Indian Air Force Academy. The exam is conducted twice a year and can be attempted in Hindi or English. It is an offline, written examination. The CDS 1 2023 exam will be conducted on 16th April 2023.

Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT)

Both male and female can give AFCAT Exam for Short Service Commission (SSC) in the flying branch, it is for 14 years with no extension. The age limit should be between 20 to 24 years.

This exam is conducted twice a year (February and September) and the candidate must be a Graduate (three-year course)/ BE/B Tech (four-year course) in any discipline from a recognized university with minimum of 60% marks or equivalent.

As per the previous trends, the Indian Air Force will publish the official notification of AFCAT 1 2023 in the month of December 2022. The AFCAT 1 2023 registrations will start in Dec 2022. Online AFCAT 1 2023 examination will be conducted in the second week of Feb 2023.

NDA (National Defence Academy)

NDA is conducted twice a year by UPSC. The candidates who qualify for the examination will have to undergo three years of training at NDA followed by flying training at Air Force Training establishments. After the completion of training, candidates get a ‘Permanent Commission ‘.Candidates must have completed their 10th or 12th with Physics and Mathematics.

Check Out: NDA 1 2023 Notification And Exam Date. According to the UPSC calendar, the NDA 1 2023 exam notification will be released on 21st December 2022. On successfully passing the entrance exam, clearing the SSB Interview, and the medical exam, candidates who complete their training at the National Defence Academy are recruited into the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The NDA 1 2023 exam will take place on the 16th of April, 2023.

NCC Special Entry

Candidates having Air Wing Senior Division ‘C’ Certificate holder is eligible for National Cadet Corps (NCC) Special Entry. Permanent Commission is offered for men while Short Service Commission is for men and women.

The joining will be done through the Directorate General National Cadet Corps or through your respective NCC Air Squadrons. Graduates (three-year course)/ BE/B Tech (four-year course) in any discipline from a recognized university with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent is required.

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Siddhant Sandhu

    Defence Content Blogger at SSBCrackExams, An avid reader, UPSC aspirant and curious about international realtions. Pursuing my Masters in Computer Applications, National Cyclist, Ex NCC SUO.

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