The Indian Air Force (Bhāratīya Vāyu Senā) is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. It is the world’s fourth largest air force. Below mentioned are some of the Indian Air Force facts you should know.
- Indian Air Force is the 4th largest in the world, just behind USA, Russia and China. That puts us ahead of the Air Force of Germany, South Korea, Egypt and Turkey.
- Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon is the only Indian Air Force officer to have been honoured with the Param Vir Chakra. He was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, in recognition of his lone defence of Srinagar Air Base against a PAF air raid during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
- Indian Air Force launched a 3D mobile game called Guardians of the Skies to encourage youngsters to join the Indian Air Force.
- Indian Air Fore has it’s base in a foreign country. It is in Farkhor, Tajikistan. Its only base outside India.
- Indian Air Force has replaced the old communication with its own fully secure and reliable network and gigabyte digital information grid using modern tropo-scatter technology, popularly known as AFnet in 2010. The amazing revolution in the field of communication will be followed by the army and navy in future.
- During the Indo-Pakistanwar of 1965, Indian Air Force went head on with Pakistan air force which was superior in every manner possible, thanks to the USA. But Indian Air Force Gnats piloted by brave officers cut down Pakistani Sabres with such ferocity that the Gants came to known as ‘Sabre Slayers’.
- The Indian Air Force destroyed more than 29 Pakistani tanks, 40 APCs and a railway train during the Battle of Longewala in the 1971 Indo-Pak War besides a number of critical installations. By the time Pakistani forces surrendered, the Indian Air Force claimed that 94 PAF aircraft, including 54 F-86 Sabres had been shot down.
- The Indian Air Force created a world record by performing the highest landing of a C-130J (Super Hercules) at the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in Ladakh at the height of 16614 feet (5065 meters). The feat was accomplished on August 20, 2013.
- The highest achievable rank in the air force is Marshal of the Indian Air Force. Arjan Singh is the only officer who has achieved this rank. This makes him the only living Indian Military Officer with a five star rank.
- Sachin Tendulkar is the first civilian (without any aviation background) who was awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by Indian Air Force.
- Operation Rahat was the biggest civilian rescue operation in the world carried out by any air force using helicopters.
- The Garud Commando Force is an Indian air force special force, which has a strength of 2,000 personnel. They are an amphibious unit of the Indian Air Force and stand shoulder to shoulder to the American Navy Seals.
- The Indian Air Force is the only air force that operates C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Super Hercules, and IlyushinIl-76 — the three largest transport aircrafts.
- The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) after the
. It is all set to replace the MiG-21 series.
- The Indian Air Force in 2024 is planning to finally arrest the continued decline in its combat aircraft strength and attain a combat fighter aircraft fleet of 42 squadrons.
For the first time, its fighter fleet will consist almost exclusively of twin engine fighters in the Rafale, Sukhoi-HAL Prospective Multi-role Fighter (PMF), SU-30 MKI (upgraded), MiG-29 UPG and Jaguar strike fighter with the exception of upgraded Mirage 2000s, Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and few numbers of the MiG-21 ‘Bison’.
All the defense forces (Air force, Navy, army, coast-guards) of India have been making us proud from years and will continue to do so. It is thanks to these brave men that India still maintains its status loud and proud. We can never thank them enough for what they do.