Did You Know

  • 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. Sachin Tendulkar is the first civilian (without any aviation background) who was awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by IAF.

  • Operation Rahat (2013) was one of the biggest civilian rescue operations ever carried out in the world. It was carried out by the Indian Air Force to evacuate civilians affected by the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013. It was the biggest civilian rescue operations in the world carried out by any Air Force using helicopters. During the first phase of the operation from 17 June 2013, the IAF airlifted a total of about 20,000 people; flying a total of 2,140 sorties and dropping a total of 3,82,400 kg

  • The Battle of Longewala was fought in December 1971 between India and Pakistan, in which just 120 Indian Soldiers with 1 jeep mounted M40 recoilless rifle held the fort against 2000 Pakistani soldiers backed by 45 tanks and 1 mobile infantry brigade. Despite being heavily out-numbered, the Indian soldiers held their ground throughout the night and with the help of the Air Force, were able to completely rout the aggressors.

  • The Tejas is the supersonic Light Combat Aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

  • The Air Force has over 60 air bases spread all over India, the Western Air Command is the largest Air Command.

  • 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 engaged in conflict outside the country in 1960, when Belgium’s 75-year rule over Congo ended abruptly.

  • The IAF was referred to as Royal Indian Air Force from 1945 to 1950.

  • The Farkhor Air base located in Farkhor near Tajikistan is India's first and only military base outside the country.

  • From October 1, 1993 to December 21, 1994, the IAF took part in peacekeeping duties in Somalia as part of the Indian contingent supporting UN operations.

  • The IAF flag, adopted in 1951, is blue in colour and contains the National Flag in the first quadrant and a roundel of the Tricolour.

  • It is also the seventh strongest Air Force in the world, better than that of Germany, Australia and Japan.

  • With around 1,70,000 personnel and 1,500 aircraft, it is the fourth largest air force in the world after US, China and Russia.

  • One of the key components of the Indian defence mechanism, the Indian Air Force (IAF) ranks amongst the best in the world. Formed under the Indian Air Force Act on October 8, 1932 it has proved its mettle numerous times and fulfilled its duty of providing aerial security to the hilt.