Indian Air Force

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world.[11] Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire which honoured India's aviation service during World War II with the prefix Royal.[12] After India gained independence from United Kingdom in 1947, the name Royal Indian Air Force was kept and served in the name of Dominion of India. With the government's transition to a Republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed.

Indian Air Force
Bhāratīya Vāyu Senā
Founded8 October 1932; 88 years ago (1932-10-08)
Country India
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size139,576 active personnel[1]
140,000 reserve personnel[2]
Approx 1,850+ aircraft[3][4]
Part ofIndian Armed Forces
HeadquartersIntegrated Defence Headquarters, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi
Motto(s)नभः स्पृशं दीप्तम् (Sanskrit)
Nabhaḥ Spr̥śaṁ Dīptam (ISO)
transl."Touch the sky with Glory" [5][6][7] (Taken from Bhagavad Gita[8])
MarchQuick: Desh Pukare Jab Sab Ko (When the nation calls)
Slow: Vayu Sena Nishan (The Air Force Emblem)
Anniversaries8 October (Air Force Day)[9][10]
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Ram Nath Kovind
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)General Bipin Rawat
Chief of the Air StaffAir Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
Vice Chief of the Air StaffAir Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, PVSM, AVSM, VM
Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh
Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chandra Lal
Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee
Fin flash
Aircraft flown
AttackJaguar, Eitan, Harop
FighterSu-30MKI, Rafale, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, Tejas, MiG-21
HelicopterApache AH-64E, CH-47 Chinook, Dhruv, Chetak, Cheetah, Mi-8, Mi-17, Rudra, Mi-26, Mi-25/35
ReconnaissanceSearcher II, Heron
TrainerHawk Mk 132, HJT-16 Kiran, Pilatus C-7 Mk II
TransportC-130J, C-17 Globemaster III, CH-47F (I) Chinook, Il-76, An-32, HS 748, Do 228, Boeing 737, ERJ 135
TankerIl-78 MKI

Since 1950, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. The IAF's mission expands beyond engagement with hostile forces, with the IAF participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The President of India holds the rank of Supreme Commander of the IAF.[13] As of 1 July 2017, 1,39,576 personnel are in service with the Indian Air Force.[14][15] The Chief of the Air Staff, an air chief marshal, is a four-star officer and is responsible for the bulk of operational command of the Air Force. There is never more than one serving ACM at any given time in the IAF. The rank of Marshal of the Air Force has been conferred by the President of India on one occasion in history, to Arjan Singh. On 26 January 2002, Singh became the first and so far, only five-star rank officer of the IAF.[16]