The Indian Air Force was founded on October 8, 1932, as an auxiliary air force of the Royal Air Force. The Indian Air Force Act of 1932 established their auxiliary status and mandated that they wear Royal Air Force uniforms, badges, brevets, and insignia. The IAF's first squadron, No. 1 Squadron, was commissioned on April 1, 1933, with four Westland Wapiti biplanes and five Indian pilots. British RAF Commanding Officer Flight Lieutenant Cecil Bouchier led the Indian pilots. After serving in World War II (1939-1945), India's Air Force was renamed the Royal Indian Air Force. After the republic was established in 1950, it was renamed the Indian Air Force.
• After the United States, China, and Russia, India has the fourth largest air force in the world.
• The headquarters is in New Delhi.
• The IAF's motto is "Touch the Sky with Glory," which comes from the Bhagavad Gita's eleventh chapter.
• India's President is the Supreme Commander of the Air Force.
• The Chief of Air Staff, an air chief marshal, is in charge of the air force's operational command.
• The IAF assisted in relief efforts following natural disasters such as the Gujarat cyclone in 1998 and the tsunami in 2004.
• The IAF collaborates with UN peacekeeping missions.
• On October 8, India commemorates Air Force Day.
WARS AND OPERTIONS CONDUCTED BY INDIAN AIR FORCE
• FIRST YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE (1947–1950)
The RIAF was called upon to transport troops into the war zone the day after the Instrument of Accession was signed. And it was at this point that good logistics management came in handy.
• CONGO CRISIS AND ANNEXATION OF GOA (1960–1961)
• BORDER DISPUTES AND CHANGES IN THE IAF (1962–1971)
The IAF underwent a series of changes after the 1965 war to improve its capabilities. The Para Commandos regiment was formed in 1966. India has begun to place a greater emphasis on indigenous fighter aircraft production in order to improve its logistics supply and rescue operations capabilities.
• BANGLADESH LIBERATION WAR (1971)
The Indian Air Force responded quickly at the BATTLE OF LONGEWALA (BORDER MOVIE) and carried out strategic bombing raids on oil installations in Karachi, the Mangla Dam, and a gas plant in Sindh. In East Pakistan, a similar strategy was used, and as the IAF gained complete air superiority on the eastern front, the ordnance factories, runways, and other vital areas of the pakistan were severely damaged.
• INCIDENTS BEFORE KARGIL (1984–1988)
• In 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot in the disputed Kashmir region to capture the Siachen Glacier.
• To provide humanitarian aid, the Indian government decided to launch Operation Poomalai, an airdrop of humanitarian supplies on the evening of June 4, 1987, during the Sri Lankan Civil War.
• In 1987, the Indian Air Force (IAF) assisted the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Operation Pawan in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.
• KARGIL WAR (1999)
The Indian Air Force was called in on May 11, 1999, to provide close air support to the Indian Army using helicopters during the ongoing Kargil conflict.
Operation Safed Sagar was the code name for the IAF strike. The Indian Air Force launched the first strikes on infiltrator positions with fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships on May 26.
• ON 27 FEBRUARY 2019 INDIA–PAKISTAN STANDOFF
A group of PAF Mirage-5 and JF-17 fighters allegedly carried out an airstrike across the Line of Control (LOC)
in retaliation for the IAF bombing of an alleged terrorist hideout in Balakot. A group of IAF fighters comprised of Su-30MKI and MiG-21 jets intercepted them. Pakistan has kidnapped an Indian pilot.
Pakistan released the captured pilot after a few days of captivity in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention.
COMMAND STRUCTURE AND TRAINING
• There are five operational and two functional commands in the Indian Air Force.
• An Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal leads each Command.
• An operational command's mission is to conduct military operations involving aircraft within its area of responsibility, whereas functional commands' mission is to maintain combat readiness.
• Aside from the Training Command in Bangalore, the Air Force Academy (in Hyderabad) provides primary flight training, followed by operational training at various other schools.
• The Defence Services Staff College also provides advanced officer training for command positions; specialised advanced flight training schools are located in Bidar, Karnataka, and Hakimpet, Telangana (also the location for helicopter training). Technical schools can also be found in a variety of other places.
1. CENTRAL AIR COMMAND at Allahabad
2. EASTERN AIR COMMAND at Shillong
3. SOUTHERN AIR COMMAND at Thiruvananthapuram
4. SOUTH WESTERN AIR COMMAND at Gandhinagar
5. WESTERN AIR COMMAND at New Delhi
6. TRAINING AIR COMMAND at Bangalore
7. MAINTENANCE AIR COMMAND at Nagpur
BRANCHES OF AIR FORCE
1. Flying Branch
2. Technical Branch (Engineering)
3. Ground Branch
• Medical & Dental
GARUD COMMANDO FORCE
The Garud commandos are the Indian Air Force's special forces (IAF). Counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, providing security to the IAF's vulnerable assets, and various air force-specific special operations are among their responsibilities. This unit was first conceived in 2002 and was formally established on February 6, 2004.
INTERGRATED SPACE CELL
To better utilise the country's space-based assets for military purposes, an Integrated Space Cell has been established, which will be jointly operated by all three services of the Indian armed forces, the civilian Department of Space, and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This command will make use of satellites and other space technology. Unlike an aerospace command, which is dominated by the air force, the Integrated Space Cell envisions collaboration and coordination among the three services as well as civilian space agencies.
The Indian Air Force's Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) (Surya Kiran is Sanskrit for Sun Rays) is an aerobatics demonstration team. They are the Thunderbolts' successors, having formed in 1996.
The Indian Air Force's Helicopter Display Team is known as Sarang (Sanskrit for Peacock). The team was formed in October 2003, and their first public performance was in Singapore in 2004 at the Asian Aerospace Show.
1. Marshal of the Indian Air Force
2. Air Chief Marshal
3. Air Marshal
4. Air Vice Marshal
5. Air Commodore
6. Group Captain
7. Wing Commander
8. Squadron Leader
9. Flight Lieutenant
10. Flying Officer
• An airman's job is to ensure that all air and ground operations are running smoothly.
• They are involved in all activities of an air base, from operating Air Defense systems to fitting missiles, and provide support to a variety of technical and non-technical jobs.
• Technical trades airmen are in charge of maintaining, repairing, and preparing for use aircraft propulsion systems and other airborne weapon delivery systems, radar, voice/data transmission and reception equipment, the most recent airborne weapon delivery systems, all types of light, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems of airborne missiles, aero engines, aircraft fuelling equipment, and heavy lift aircraft.
• As Flight Engineers, Flight Signallers, and Flight Gunners, competent and qualified Airmen from technical trades also participate in flying.
• Personnel below the rank of officer are recruited through All India Selection Tests and Recruitment Rallies. All-India Selection Tests are held at 15 Airmen Selection Centres (ASCs) spread across the country.