The Indian Air Force was established on 08 October 1932. In 1945 it was known as the Royal Indian Air Force in recognition of its services in the Second World War. The word ‘Royal’ was dropped in 1950, when India became a Republic. With its headquarters in New Delhi, it has a strength of approximately 1.8 Lakh Personnel and over 600 combat aircraft and  500+ transport aircraft and helicopters making it the 4th largest Air Force in the World. In addition to its main responsibility of securing Indian Air Space and conducting successful Aerial Warfare during a conflict , the Indian Air Force has provided significant aid to civil authorities during calamities and natural disasters. It also provides support to ground troops by providing air cover and transporting men and essential commodities across the battlefield.

Motto : नभःस्पृशं दीप्तम्   “Touch the Sky with Glory

Crest, Flag and Uniform

Odd numbered dress –  Winter Dress |  Even numbered dress –  Summer Dress.

             Indian Air Force Crest ( logo)   iaf flag - gomilitary  Uniforms of the Indian Air Force

Branches : 

The Indian Air Force has the following branches –

  1. Flying Branch
  2. Technical Branch – Engineering
  3. Ground duties Branch
    (a) Administration
    (b) Logistics
    (c) Accounts
    (d) Education
    (e) Meteorological
  4. Medical and Dental Branch

Commands : 

Indian Air Force Commands

The Indian Air Force has seven commands, five operational and two functional.

  1.  Western Air Command – New Delhi
  2. Eastern Air Command – Shillong
  3. Central Air Command – Allahabad
  4. Southern Air Command – Thiruvananthapuram
  5. South Western Air Command – Gandhinagar
  6. Training Command – Bangalore
  7. Maintenance Command – Nagpur

Aerospace Command

IAF is setting up an aerospace command which will have space technology including satellite technology and it will be established by all the three services – Army, Navy, Air Force and ISRO.

Chief of the Air Staff

Chief of the Air Staff

The Present Chief of the Air Staff is PVSM AVSM VM ADC Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. He is an alumni of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla and the prestigious Air Force academy, Hyderabad from where he passed out as a fighter Pilot. He is a Cat A Qualified Flying Instructor and a Fighter Combat Leader with nearly 3400 hrs of flying experience, mainly on fighter aircraft.

Branches at Air HQ & PSOs

Branches at Air HQ & PSOs

Airbase and Training Establishments :

The Indian Air Force has 60 airbases with more being planned. It has the following Training Centers.

 AirForce Training Centers             Place
 Air Force Administrative College  Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)
 Air Force Academy  Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)
 Air Force Technical College  Jalahalli
 Airmen Training School (ATS)  Sambre, Belgaum
 Flying Instructors’ School  Tambaram (Tamil Nadu)
 Elementrary Flying School  Bidar (Karnataka)
 Fighter Training and Transport  Hakimpur and Yelahanka(Karnataka)
 Institute of Aviation Medicine  Bengaluru (Karnataka)
 Paratroopers Training School  Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
 Navigation and Signal School  Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)
 College of Air Warfare  Secunderabad (Andhra Pradesh)
 Ground Training Institutes  Vadodara (Gujarat) and Barrackpur (West Bengal)
 Transport Training Wing  Yelahanka (Bangalore)

Strength of the Indian Air Force

1. Training aircraft

  • HAL HPT-32 Deepak
  • HAL HJT-16 Kiran mk.I
  • HAL HJT-16 Kiran mk.II
  • HAL HJT-36 Sitara
  • BAE Hawk Mk 132 [Intermediate Trainer]
  • Pilatus PC-7 MK II

2. Transport aircraft

  • Gajraj (Ilyushin Il-76s)
  • C-17 Globemaster IIIs
  • Sutlej (Antonov An-32)
  • Hawker Siddeley HS 748
  • Dornier Do 228
  • Boeing 737
  • Embraer ECJ-135 Legacy
  • C-130J
  • Air India One – Official international aircraft for the President & the Prime Minister of India

3. Fighter and multi-role combat aircraft

  • Sukhoi Su-30MKI
  • Baaz (Mikoyan MiG-29)
  • Bahadur (Mikoyan MiG-27)
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
  • Vajra (Dassault Mirage 2000)
  • Shamsher (SEPECAT Jaguar)
  • HAL Tejas
  • Beriev A-50 [Airborne Warning and Control System, AWACS]
  • Ilyushin Il-78MKI [Aerial refueling]

4. Helicopters

  • HAL Dhruv [aerobatic]
  • HAL Chetak [training]
  • HAL Cheetah [high altitude operations]
  • Mil Mi-8 [replacing by Mil Mi-17]
  • Mil Mi-26 Halo [heavy lift]
  • Mil Mi-35 Hind-E [attack]

5. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs

  • DRDO Lakshya
  • IAI Harpy
  • IAI Heron
  • IAI Searcher II

Air Force Parade