Indian Air Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Royal Indian Air Force)
Jump to: navigation, search

Indian Air Force
Bharatiya Vayu Sena
IAF Crest.svg
The Crest of the Indian Air Force
Founded 8 October 1932
Country  India
Role Air superiority, reconnaissance, close air support
Size 127,000 personnel
Approx. 1,622 aircraft[1]
Part of Ministry of Defence
Indian Armed Forces
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Motto "नभःस्पृशं दीप्तम्" ("Nabhaḥ spr̥śaṁ dīptam") "Touch the Sky with Glory" [2]
Colors Navy blue, sky blue & white
            
Anniversaries Air Force Day: 8 October[3]
Engagements
Website indianairforce.nic.in
Commanders
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha
Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SBP Sinha[4]
Notable
commanders
Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh
Air Chief Marshal Pratap Chandra Lal
Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee
Insignia
Air Force Ensign Ensign of the Indian Air Force.svg
Roundel Roundel
Fin flash The IAF Fin Flash
Aircraft flown
Attack Jaguar, MiG-27, Harpy
Electronic
warfare
A-50E/I, DRDO AEW&CS, Ilyushin A-50
Fighter Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, HAL Tejas, MiG-21
Helicopter Dhruv, Chetak, Cheetah, Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-26, Mi-25/35
Reconnaissance Searcher II, Heron
Trainer Hawk Mk 132, HPT-32 Deepak, HJT-16 Kiran, Pilatus C-7 Mk II
Transport C-17 Globemaster III, Il-76, An-32, HS 748, Do 228, Boeing 737, ERJ 135, Il-78 MKI, C-130J

The Indian Air Force (IAF; Devanāgarī: भारतीय वायु सेना, Bharatiya Vāyu Senā) is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct Aerial warfare during a conflict. It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire and the prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. Indian Air Force is regarded as one of the best Air Forces in the world by many experts.[5][6][7] After India achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Dominion of India, with the prefix being dropped when India became a republic in 1950. Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay – the annexation of Goa, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The President of India Pranab Mukherjee serves as the ex-officio Commander-in-Chief of the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff, an Air Chief Marshal (ACM), is a four-star commander and commands 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 once, to Arjan Singh, by the president of India on 26 Jan 2002 and he became first five-star rank holding officer of IAF & serves as the ceremonial chief.

In its publication the Military Balance 2010, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimates that the Indian Air Force has a strength of 127,000 active personnel. However, various reliable sources provided notably divergent estimates of its strength over the years. Flightglobal estimates there to be to 1,499 aircraft in active service during 2013/2014.[1]

Mission[edit]

Evolution of the IAF Roundel over the years:
1)1933–1942 2)1942–1945
3)1947–1950 4)1950 – present[8]

The IAF's mission is defined by the Armed Forces Act of 1947, Constitution of India and the Air Force Act of 1950,[9] in the aerial battlespace, as:

Thus, the IAF has the primary objective of safeguarding Indian territory and national interests from all threats in conjunction with the other branches of the armed forces by defending Indian airspace. The IAF provides close air support to the Indian Army troops in the battlefield and also provides strategic and tactical airlift capabilities. The IAF also operates the Integrated Space Cell together with the other two branches of the Indian Armed Forces, the civilian Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to utilise more effectively the country's space-based assets for military purposes and to look into threats to these assets.[10][11]

The Indian Air Force along with the other branches of the Indian Armed Forces provide assistance in disaster relief such as during natural calamities by undertaking evacuation or search-and-rescue (SAR) operations and air dropping relief supplies in affected areas.[12] The IAF provided extensive assistance to relief operations during natural calamities such as the Gujarat cyclone in 1998, the Tsunami in 2004 and North India floods in 2013.[12] The IAF also provides assistance to other countries during relief activities such as Operation Rainbow in Sri Lanka.[12]

History[edit]

Formation and early pilots[edit]

A Westland Wapiti, one of the first aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

The Indian Air Force was established in British India as an auxiliary air force[13] of the Royal Air Force with the enactment of the Indian Air Force Act 1932 on 8 October that year[14][15] and adopted the Royal Air Force uniforms, badges, brevets and insignia.[8] On 1 April 1933, the IAF commissioned its first squadron, No.1 Squadron, with four Westland Wapiti biplanes and five Indian pilots. The Indian pilots were led by RAF Commanding officer Flight Lieutenant (later Air Vice Marshal) Cecil Bouchier.[16]

World War II (1939–1945)[edit]

Arjan Singh as the Flight Lieutenant with Indian pilots of No.1 Squadron by a Hawker Hurricane IIc. L to R : Ibrahim, Homi Ratnagar, Arjan Singh, Henry and Murcot. World War II.

During World War II, the IAF played an instrumental role in blocking the advance of the Japanese army in Burma, where its first air strike was on the Japanese military base in Arakan. It also carried out strike missions against the Japanese airbases at Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in northern Thailand.

The IAF was mainly involved in Strike, Close Air Support, Aerial reconnaissance, Bomber Escort and Pathfinding missions for RAF and USAAF Heavy bombers. RAF Pilots were embedded in IAF units and vice versa to gain combat experience. IAF pilots participated in air operations in Europe as part of the RAF.[17]

During the war, the IAF went through a phase of steady expansion. New aircraft, including the U.S. built Vultee Vengeance, Douglas DC-3 and the British Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire and Westland Lysander, were added to its fleet.

In recognition of the services rendered by the IAF, King George VI conferred the prefix "Royal" in 1945. Thereafter the IAF was referred to as Royal Indian Air Force. In 1950, when India became a republic, the prefix was dropped and it reverted to Indian Air Force.

First years of independence (1947–1950)[edit]

Refugees awaiting evacuation by IAF Dakota on Poonch airstrip, December 1947.

After gaining independence from the British Empire in 1947, British India was partitioned into the new states of the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. Along the lines of the geographical partition, the assets of the air force were divided between the new countries. India's air force retained the name of the Royal Indian Air Force, but three of the ten operational squadrons and facilities, located within the borders of Pakistan, were transferred to the Royal Pakistan Air Force.[18] The RIAF Roundel was changed to an interim 'Chakra' roundel derived from the Ashoka Chakra.[8]

Around the same time, conflict broke out between them over the control of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. With Pakistani forces moving into the state, its Maharaja decided to accede to India in order to receive military help.[19] The day after instrument of accession was signed, the RIAF was called upon to transport troops into the war-zone. And this was when a good management of logistics came into help.[19] This led to the eruption of full-scale war between India and Pakistan, though there was no formal declaration of war.[20] During the war, the RIAF did not engage the Pakistan Air Force in air-to-air combat; however, it did provide effective transport and close air support to the Indian troops.[21]

When India became a republic in 1950, the prefix 'Royal' was dropped from the Indian Air Force.[15] At the same time, the current IAF roundel was adopted.[8]

Congo crisis and capture of Goa (1960–1961)[edit]

The IAF saw significant conflict in 1960, when Belgium's 75-year rule over Congo ended abruptly, engulfing the nation in widespread violence and rebellion.[22] The IAF activated No. 5 Squadron, equipped with English Electric Canberra, to support the United Nations Operation in the Congo. The squadron started undertaking operational missions in November.[23] The unit remained there until 1966, when the UN mission ended.[23] Operating from Leopoldville and Kamina, the Canberras soon destroyed the rebel Air Force and provided the UN ground forces with its only long-range air support force.[24]

In late 1961, the Indian government decided to deploy the armed forces in an effort to expel Portugal from the enclaves of Goa, Daman and Diu after years of disagreement between New Delhi and Lisbon.[25] The Indian Air Force was requested to provide support elements to the ground force in what was called Operation Vijay. Probing flights by some fighters and bombers were carried out from 8–18 December to draw out the Portuguese Air Force, but to no avail.[25] On 18 December, two waves of Canberra bombers bombed the runway of Dabolim airfield taking care not to bomb the Terminals and the ATC tower. Two Portuguese transport aircraft (a Super Constellation and a DC-6) found on the airfield were left alone so that they can be captured intact. However the Portuguese pilots managed to take off the aircraft from the still damaged airfield and made their getaway to Portugal.[25] Hunters attacked the wireless station at Bambolim. Vampires were used to provide air support to the ground forces.[25] In Daman, Mystères were used to strike Portuguese gun positions.[25] Ouragans (called Toofanis in the IAF) bombed the runways at Diu and destroyed the control tower, wireless station and the meteorological station. Successfully re-integrating these parts into India.[25]

Border disputes and changes in the IAF (1962–1971)[edit]

In 1962, border disagreements between China and India escalated to a war when China mobilised its troops across the Indian border.[26] During the Sino-Indian War, India's military planners failed to deploy and effectively use the IAF against the invading Chinese forces. This resulted in India losing a significant amount of advantage to the Chinese; especially in Jammu and Kashmir.[26]

Three years after the Sino-Indian conflict, in 1965, Pakistan launched Operation Gibraltar, a surprise invasion into India which came to be known as the Second Kashmir War.[27] This was the first time the IAF actively engaged an enemy air force.[28] However, instead of providing close air support to the Indian Army,[29] the IAF carried out independent raids against PAF bases.[30] These bases were situated deep inside Pakistani territory, making IAF fighters vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire.[31] During the course of the conflict, the PAF enjoyed technological superiority over the IAF and had achieved substantial strategic and tactical advantage due to their sudden attack and whole hearted diplomatic and military support from the US and Britain.[27] The IAF was restrained by the government from retaliating to PAF attacks in the eastern sector while a substantive part of its combat force was deployed there and could not be transferred to the western sector, against the possibility of Chinese intervention. Moreover, international (UN) stipulations and norms did not permit military force to be introduced into the Indian state of J&K beyond what was agreed during the 1949 ceasefire.[27] Despite this, the IAF was able to prevent the PAF from gaining air superiority over conflict zones.[32] The small and nimble IAF Folland Gnats proved effective against the F-86 Sabres of the PAF earning it the nickname "Sabre Slayers".[33] By the time the conflict had ended, the IAF lost 73 aircraft, while the PAF lost 43 aircraft.[27] More than 60% of IAF's air combat losses took place during the battles over Kalaikunda and Pathankot

HAL HF-24 Marut, the first indigenous fighter jet to enter service with the IAF.

After the 1965 war, the IAF underwent a series of changes to improve its capabilities. In 1966, the Para Commandos regiment was created.[34] To increase its logistics supply and rescue operations ability, the IAF inducted 72 HS 748s which were built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under license from Avro.[35] India started to put more stress on indigenous manufacture of fighter aircraft. As a result, HAL HF-24 Marut, designed by the famed German aerospace engineer Kurt Tank,[36] were inducted into the air force. HAL also started developing an improved version of the Folland Gnat, known as HAL Ajeet.[37] At the same time, the IAF also started inducting Mach 2 capable Soviet MiG-21 and Sukhoi Su-7 fighters.[38]

Bangladesh Liberation War (1971)[edit]

By late 1971, the intensification of the independence movement in erstwhile East Pakistan lead to the Bangladesh Liberation War between India and Pakistan .[39] On 22 November 1971, 10 days before the start of a full-scale war, four PAF F-86 Sabre jets attacked Indian and Mukti Bahini positions at Garibpur, near the international border. Two of the four PAF Sabres were shot down and one damaged by the IAF's Folland Gnats.[40] On 3 December, India formally declared war against Pakistan following massive preemptive strikes by the PAF against Indian Air Force installations in Srinagar, Ambala, Sirsa, Halwara and Jodhpur. However, the IAF did not suffer significantly because the leadership had anticipated such a move and precautions were taken.[41] The Indian Air Force was quick to respond to Pakistani air strikes, following which the PAF carried out mostly defensive sorties.[42]

Within the first two weeks, the IAF had carried out almost 2,000 sorties over East Pakistan and also provided close air support to the advancing Indian Army.[43] IAF also assisted the Indian Navy in its operations against the Pakistani Navy and Maritime Security Agency in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. On the western front, the IAF destroyed more than 29 Pakistani tanks, 40 APCs and a railway train during the Battle of Longewala.[44] The IAF undertook strategic bombing of West Pakistan by carrying out raids on oil installations in Karachi, the Mangla Dam and a gas plant in Sindh.[45] Similar strategy was also deployed in East Pakistan and as the IAF achieved complete air superiority on the eastern front, the ordnance factories, runways, and other vital areas of East Pakistan were severely damaged.[46] By the time Pakistani forces surrendered, the IAF claimed that 94 PAF aircraft, including 54 F-86 Sabres had been shot down.[47] The IAF had flown over 6,000 sorties[43] on both East and West fronts; including sorties by transport aircraft and helicopters.[43] Towards the end of the war, IAF's transport planes dropped leaflets over Dhaka urging the Pakistani forces to surrender, demoralising Pakistani troops in East Pakistan.[48]

Incidents before Kargil (1984–1988)[edit]

In 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot to capture the Siachen Glacier in the contested Kashmir region.[49] In Op Meghdoot, IAF's Mi-8, Chetak and Cheetah helicopters airlifted hundreds of Indian troops to Siachen.[50] Launched on 13 April 1984, this military operation was unique because of Siachen's inhospitable terrain and climate. The military action was successful, given the fact that under a previous agreement, neither Pakistan nor India had stationed any personnel in the area. The Indian forces, facing no opposition, took control over most of the heights on the glacier.[51]

IAF An-32s were used to airdrop humanitarian supplies in Operation Poomalai.

Following the inability to negotiate an end to the Sri Lankan Civil War, and to provide humanitarian aid through an unarmed convoy of ships,[52] the Indian Government decided to carry out an airdrop of the humanitarian supplies on the evening of 4 June 1987 designated Operation Poomalai (Tamil: Garland) or Eagle Mission 4.[52] Five An-32s escorted by five Mirage 2000s carried out the supply drop which faced no opposition from the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.[52][53] Sri Lanka accused India of "blatant violation of sovereignty".[52] India insisted that it was acting only on humanitarian grounds.[52]

In 1987, the IAF supported the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in northern and eastern Sri Lanka in Operation Pawan. About 70,000 sorties were flown by the IAF's transport and helicopter force in support of nearly 100,000 troops and paramilitary forces without a single aircraft lost or mission aborted.[54] IAF An-32s maintained a continuous air link between air bases in South India and Northern Sri Lanka transporting men, equipment, rations and evacuating casualties.[54] Mi-8s supported the ground forces and also provided air transportation to the Sri Lankan civil administration during the elections.[54] Mi-25s of No. 125 Helicopter Unit were utilised to provide suppressive fire against militant strong points and to interdict coastal and clandestine riverine traffic.[54]

On the night of 3 November 1988, the Indian Air Force mounted special operations to airlift a parachute battalion group from Agra, non-stop over 2000 kilometres to the remote Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives in response to Maldivian president Gayoom's request for military help against a mercenary invasion in Operation Cactus. The IL-76s of No. 44 Squadron landed at Hulhule at 0030 hours and the Indian paratroopers secured the airfield and restored Government rule at Male within hours.[55]

Kargil War (1999)[edit]

On 11 May 1999, the Indian Air Force was called in to provide close air support to the Indian Army at the height of the ongoing Kargil conflict with the use of helicopters.[55] The IAF strike was code named Operation Safed Sagar.[55] The first strikes were launched on 26 May, when the Indian Air Force struck infiltrator positions with fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships.[56] The initial strikes saw MiG-27s carrying out offensive sorties, with MiG-21s and later MiG-29s providing fighter cover.[57] The IAF also deployed its radars and the MiG-29 fighters in vast numbers to keep check on Pakistani military movements across the border.[58] Srinagar Airport was at this time closed to civilian air-traffic and dedicated to the Indian Air Force.[56]

On 27 May, the Indian Air Force suffered its first fatality when it lost a MiG-21 and a MiG-27 in quick succession.[notes 1][59][60] The following day, while on an offensive sortie, a Mi-17 was shot down by three Stinger missiles and lost its entire crew of four.[57] Following these losses the IAF immediately withdrew helicopters from offensive roles as a measure against the threat of Man-portable air-defence systems (MANPAD). On 30 May, the Mirage 2000s were introduced in offensive capability, as they were deemed better in performance under the high-altitude conditions of the conflict zone. Mirage 2000s were not only better equipped to counter the MANPAD threat compared to the MiGs, but also gave IAF the ability to carry out aerial raids at night. The MiG-29s were used extensively to provide fighter escort to the Mirage 2000.[61] The Mirages successfully targeted enemy camps and logistic bases in Kargil and severely disrupted their supply lines.[62] Mirage 2000s were used for strikes on Muntho Dhalo and the heavily defended Tiger Hill and paved the way for their early recapture.[57] At the height of the conflict, the IAF was conducting over forty sorties daily over the Kargil region.[61] By 26 July, the Indian forces had successfully repulsed the Pakistani forces from Kargil.[63]

Post Kargil incidents (1999–present)[edit]

On 10 August 1999, IAF MiG-21s intercepted a Pakistan Navy Breguet Atlantique which was flying over Sir Creek, an Indian territory. The aircraft was shot down killing all 16 Pakistani Navy personnel on board.[64] India claimed that the Atlantic was on a mission to gather information on IAF air defence,[65] a charge emphatically rejected by Pakistan which argued that the unarmed aircraft was on a training mission.[66]

Since the late 1990s, the Indian Air Force has been modernising its fleet to counter challenges in the new century. The fleet size of the IAF has decreased to 33 squadrons during this period because of the retirement of older aircraft. Still, India maintains the fourth largest air force in the world. The IAF plans to raise its strength to 42 squadrons.[67] Self-reliance is the main aim that is being pursued by the defence research and manufacturing agencies.

On 20 August 2013, the Indian Air Force 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).[68][69] The medium-lift aircraft will be used to deliver troops, supplies and improve communication networks. The aircraft belonged to the Veiled Vipers squadron based at Hindon Air Force Station.[70]

On 13 July 2014, two MiG-21s were sent from Jodhpur Air Base to investigate a Turkish Airlines plane over Jaisalmer when it repeated an identification code, provided by another commercial passenger plane that had already entered Indian airspace before it. The flights were on their way to Mumbai and Delhi, planes were later allowed to proceed after their credentials were verified.[71]

On 25 July 2014, an advanced landing chopper-307 crashed in a field of Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh, on its way to Allahabad from Bareilly. At least 7 people were dead after the incident took place.[72]

Structure[edit]

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha

The President of India is the Supreme Commander of all Indian armed forces and by virtue of that fact is the notional Commander-in-chief of the Air Force. Chief of the Air Staff with the rank of Air Chief Marshal is the Commander of the Indian Air Force. He is assisted by six officers, all with the rank of Air Marshal:

In January 2002, the government conferred the rank of Marshal of the Air Force on Arjan Singh making him the first and only Five-star officer with the Indian Air Force and ceremonial chief of the air force.[73]

Commands[edit]

The Indian Air Force is divided into five operational and two functional commands. Each Command is headed by an Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal. The purpose of an operational command is to conduct military operations using aircraft within its area of responsibility, whereas the responsibility of functional commands is to maintain combat readiness. Aside from the Training Command at Bangalore, the centre for primary flight training is located at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad, Telangana, followed by operational training at various other schools. Advanced officer training for command positions is also conducted at the Defence Services Staff College; specialised advanced flight training schools are located at Bidar, Karnataka and Hakimpet, Telangana (also the location for helicopter training). Technical schools are found at a number of other locations.[74]

Operational Commands Functional Commands

Within each operational command are a number of air groups, each headed by an Air Officer Commanding (AOC) with the rank of air vice-marshal. Each air group consists of several bases or stations, headed by an air commodore or group captain.

Wings[edit]

A Wing is a formation intermediate between a Command and a Squadron. It generally consists of two or three IAF Squadrons and Helicopter Units, along with Forward Base Support Units (FBSU). FBSUs do not have or host any Squadrons or Helicopter units but act as transit airbases for routine operations. In times of war, they can become fully fledged air bases playing host to various Squadrons. In all, about 47 Wings and 19 FBSUs make up the IAF.[75][76] Wings are typically commanded by a Group Captain.

Squadrons and Units[edit]

Squadrons are the field units and formations attached to static locations. Thus, a Flying Squadron or Unit is a sub-unit of an air force station which carries out the primary task of the IAF. All fighter squadrons are headed by a Commanding Officer with the rank of Wing Commander.[77] Some Transport squadrons and Helicopter Units are headed by a Commanding Officer with the rank of Group Captain.

Flights[edit]

Flights are sub-divisions of Squadrons, commanded by a Squadron Leader.[78]

Within this formation structure, IAF has several service branches for day-to-day operations. They are:[79]

Flying Branch
  • Flying
Technical Branch
  • Engineering
Ground Branch
  • Logistics
  • Administration
  • Accounts
  • Education
  • Medical & Dental
  • Meteorological

Garud Commando Force[edit]

Main article: Garud Commando Force
Garud commandos at aero-India 2011

In September 2009, the IAFMM. established its own special operation unit called the Garud Commando Force, consisting of approximately 1500 personnel. For starting this special force volunteers from exiting trades were called and sent for commando and specialised training at various institutes of army and other forces. The airmen who successfully completed all course were inducted in Garud force, while special recruitment and selections from various IAF training institute were made for selecting young air warriors for Garud SF. By doing this IAF got two set of personnel for its SF, i.e. experienced senior lot with experience of working in various IAF units and younger airmen who can be groomed and brought up to the standards of SF. The unit derives its name from Garuda, a divine mythical bird of Hindu Mythology, but more commonly the word for Garuda in Sanskrit Language. Garud is tasked with the protection of critical installations; During hostilities, Garuds undertake combat search and rescue, rescue of downed airmen and other forces from behind enemy lines, suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD), radar busting, combat control, missile and munitions guidance ("lasing" of targets) and other missions in support of air operations. It has been suggested that they undertake an offensive role including raids on enemy air bases etc. during times of war.

Apart from protecting air bases from sabotage and attacks by commando raids, they are also tasked to seal off weapons systems, fighter hangars and other major systems during intrusions and conflicts. and disaster relief during calamities.[80]

Integrated Space Cell[edit]

Main article: Integrated Space Cell

An Integrated Space Cell, which will be jointly operated by all the three services of the Indian armed forces, the civilian Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been set up to utilise more effectively the country's space-based assets for military purposes.[10][11] This command will leverage space technology including satellites. Unlike an aerospace command, where the air force controls most of its activities, the Integrated Space Cell envisages cooperation and coordination between the three services as well as civilian agencies dealing with space.[81]

India currently has 10[82] remote sensing satellites in orbit. Though most are not meant to be dedicated military satellites, some have a spacial resolution of 1 metre or below which can be also used for military applications. Noteworthy satellites include the Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) which has a panchromatic camera (PAN) with a resolution of 1-metre,[83] the RISAT-2 which is capable of imaging in all-weather conditions and has a resolution of one metre,[84] the CARTOSAT-2, CARTOSAT-2A[85][86] and CARTOSAT-2B[87] which carries a panchromatic camera which has a resolution of 80 centimetres (black and white only).

Display Teams[edit]

HAL HJT-16 Kirans of the Surya Kiran display team flying in formation.
Main articles: Surya Kiran and Sarang (military)
HAL Dhruv of the Sarang display team

The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) (Surya Kiran is Sanskrit for Sun Rays) is an aerobatics demonstration team of the Indian Air Force. They were formed in 1996 and are successors to the Thunderbolts.[88] The team has a total of 13 pilots (selected from the fighter stream of the IAF) and operate 9 HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 trainer aircraft[88] painted in a "day-glo orange" and white colour scheme. The Surya Kiran team were conferred squadron status in 2006, and presently have the designation of 52 Squadron ("The Sharks").[89] The team is based at the Indian Air Force Station at Bidar.[88] The IAF has begun the process of converting Surya Kirans to BAE Hawks.[90]

Sarang (Sanskrit for Peacock) is the Helicopter Display Team of the Indian Air Force. The team was formed in October 2003 and their first public performance was at the Asian Aerospace Show, Singapore, 2004.[91] The team flies four HAL Dhruvs[92] painted in red and white with a peacock figure at each side of the fuselage. The team is based at the Indian Air Force base at Air Force Station Sulur, Coimbatore.

Personnel[edit]

Officers of the IAF in their uniform.

Over the years reliable sources provided notably divergent estimates of the personnel strength of the Indian Air Force after analysing open-source intelligence. The public policy organisation GlobalSecurity.org had estimated that the IAF had an estimated strength of 110,000 active personnel in 1994.[74] In 2006, Anthony Cordesman estimated that strength to be 170,000 in the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) publication "The Asian Conventional Military Balance in 2006".[93] In 2010, James Hackett revised that estimate to an approximate strength of 127,000 active personnel in the IISS publication "Military Balance 2010".[94]

The rank structure of the Indian Air Force is based on that of the Royal Air Force. The highest rank attainable in the IAF is Marshal of the Indian Air Force, conferred by the President of India after exceptional service during wartime. MIAF Arjan Singh is the only officer to have achieved this rank. The head of the Indian Air Force is the Chief of the Air Staff, who holds the rank of Air Chief Marshal. The current Chief of the Air Staff is Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha with effect from 31 December 2013.

Officers[edit]

Anyone holding Indian citizenship can apply to be an officer in the Air Force as long as they satisfy the eligibility criteria. There are four entry points to become an officer. Male applicants, who are between the ages of 16½ and 19 and have passed high school graduation, can apply at the Intermediate level.[95] Men and women applicants, who have graduated from college (three-year course) and are between the ages of 18 and 28, can apply at the Graduate level entry.[96] Graduates of engineering colleges can apply at the Engineer level if they are between the ages of 18 and 28 years. The age limit for the flying and ground duty branch is 23 years of age and for technical branch is 28 years of age.[97] After completing a master's degree, men and women between the ages of 18 and 28 years can apply at the Post Graduate level. Post graduate applicants do not qualify for the flying branch. For the technical branch the age limit is 28 years and for the ground duty branch it is 25.[98] At the time of application, all applicants below 25 years of age must be single.[99] The IAF selects candidates for officer training from these applicants. After completion of training, a candidate is commissioned as a Flying Officer.[100]

Ranks of the Indian Air Force- Officer Ranks
Shoulder Marshal of the IAF.svg Air Chief Marshal of IAF.png Air Marshal of IAF.png Air Vice Marshal of IAF.png Air Commodore of IAF.png Group Captain of IAF.png Wing Commander of IAF.png Squadron Leader of IAF.png Flight Lieutenant of IAF.png Flying Officer of IAF.png Pilot Officer of IAF.png
Sleeve IAF Marshal of the AF sleeve.png IAF Air Chief Marshal sleeve.png IAF Air Marshal sleeve.png IAF Air Vice Marshal sleeve.png IAF Air Commodore sleeve.png IAF Group Captain sleeve.png IAF Wing Commander sleeve.png IAF Squadron Leader sleeve.png IAF Flight Lieutenant sleeve.png IAF Flying Officer sleeve.png IAF Pilot Officer sleeve.png
Rank Marshal of
the Air Force
¹
Air Chief
Marshal
Air Marshal Air Vice
Marshal
Air
Commodore
Group
Captain
Wing
Commander
Squadron
Leader
Flight
Lieutenant
Flying
Officer
Pilot
Officer
2
  • ¹ Honorary/War time rank.
  • 2 Rank no longer exist.

Airmen[edit]

A Foreign delegate taking the guard of honour during a Honor guard ceremony to Lula da Silva at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The duty of an airman in the Indian Air Force is to make sure that all the air and ground operations run smoothly. From operating Air Defence systems to fitting missiles, they are involved in all activities of an air base and give support to various technical and non-technical jobs.[101] The recruitment of personnel below officer rank is conducted through All India Selection Tests and Recruitment Rallies. All India Selection Tests are conducted among 14 Airmen Selection Centres (ASCs) located all over India. These centres are under the direct functional control of Central Airmen Selection Board (CASB), with administrative control and support by respective commands. The role of CASB is to carry out selection and enrolment of airmen from the Airmen Selection Centres for their respective commands.[101] Candidates initially take a written test at the time of application. Those passing the written test undergo a physical fitness test, an interview conducted in English, and medical examination. Candidates for training are selected from individuals passing the battery of tests, on the basis of their performance. Upon completion of training, an individual becomes an Airman.[101] Some MWOs and WOs are granted honorary commission in the last year of their service as an honorary Flying Officer or Flight Lieutenant before retiring from the service.[101]

Ranks of the Indian Air Force - Enlisted Ranks
Junior Commissioned Officer Enlisted
Shoulder IAF MWO Shoulder.png IAF WO Shoulder.png IAF JWO Shoulder.png Arm IAF Sgt Arm.png IAF Cpl Arm.png IAF LAC Arm.png IAF AC Arm.png
Sleeve IAF MWO Sleeve.png IAF WO Sleeve.png IAF JWO Sleeve.png
Rank Master
Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer Junior
Warrant Officer
Sergeant Corporal Leading
Aircraftsman
Aircraftsman

Honorary Officers[edit]

Non Combatants Enrolled and civilians[edit]

Non Combatants Enrolled (NCs(E)) were established in British India as personal assistants to the officer class, and are equivalent to the orderly or sahayak of the Indian Army.[103]

Almost all the commands have some percentage of civilian strength which are central government employees. These are regular ranks which are prevalent in ministries. They are usually not posted outside their stations and are employed in administrative and non-technical work.[104][105]

Training and education[edit]

The Sudan Block of the National Defence Academy (NDA). NDA serves as the joint services academy for the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

The Indian Armed Forces have set up numerous military academies across India for training its personnel. Military schools, Sainik Schools, and the Rashtriya Indian Military College were founded to broaden the recruitment base of the Defence Forces. The three branches of the Indian Armed Forces jointly operate several institutions such as the National Defence Academy (NDA), Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), National Defence College (NDC) and the College of Defence Management (CDM) for training its officers. The Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) at Pune is responsible for providing the entire pool of medical staff to the Armed Forces by giving them in service training.

Besides these Tri-service institutions, the Indian Air Force has a Training Command and several training establishments. While technical and other support staff are trained at various Ground Training Schools, the pilots are trained at the Air Force Academy located at Dundigul. The Pilot Training Establishment at Allahabad, the Air Force Administrative College at Coimbatore, the School of Aviation Medicine at Bangalore, the Air Force Technical College, Bangalore at Jalahalli and the Paratrooper’s Training School at Agra are some of the other training establishments of the IAF.

Aircraft inventory[edit]

The Indian Air Force has aircraft and equipment of Russian (erstwhile Soviet Union), British, French, Israeli, U.S. and Indian origins with Russian aircraft dominating its inventory. HAL produces some of the Russian and British aircraft in India under licence. The exact number of aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force cannot be determined with precision from open sources. Various reliable sources provide notably divergent estimates for a variety of high-visibility aircraft.[106]

Multi-role fighters and strike aircraft[edit]

Sukhoi Su-30 MKI.

The IAF's primary air superiority fighter with the additional capability to conduct air-ground (strike) missions is Sukhoi Su-30MKI. The IAF have placed an order for a total of 272 Su-30MKIs[107] of which 204[108] are in service as of March 2013. The Mikoyan MiG-29 known as Baaz (Hindi for Hawk) is a dedicated air superiority fighter and constitutes a second line of defence after the Sukhoi Su-30MKI. 66 MiG-29s are in service, all of which are currently being upgraded to the MiG-29UPG standard.[109] The Dassault Mirage 2000, known as Vajra (Sanskrit for Thunderbolt) in Indian service, is the primary multirole fighter, the IAF currently operates 51 Mirage 2000Hs which are currently being upgraded to the Mirage 2000-5 MK2 standard.[110][111] The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 serves as an Interceptor aircraft in the IAF. The IAF have phased out most of its MiG-21s and plans to keep only 125 that have been upgraded to MiG-21 Bison standard.[112] These aircraft will be phased out between 2014 and 2017.[113] The MiG-21s are planned to be replaced by the indigenously built HAL Tejas.[114][115]

The SEPECAT Jaguar known as Shamsher and the Mikoyan MiG-27 known as Bahadur (Hindi for Valiant) serve as the IAF's primary ground attack force.[116] The IAF currently operates 139 Jaguars[117] and over 100 MiG-27s.[118]

Airborne early warning and tanker aircraft[edit]

The IAF is currently training the crew in operating the ingeniously developed DRDO AEW&CS flying on the Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft. The IAF also operates the EL/W-2090 Phalcon AEW&C incorporated in a Beriev A-50 platform. A total of 3 such systems are currently in service, with possible orders for 2 more.[119][120][121]

The IAF currently operates 6 Ilyushin Il-78MKIs in the aerial refueling (tanker) role.[122][123]

Transport aircraft[edit]

Newly acquired Boeing C-17 Globemaster III being tested at Edwards Air Force Base.

For strategic military transport operations the IAF uses the Ilyushin Il-76 known as Gajraj (Hindi for King Elephant) in Indian service.[124] The IAF currently operates 17 Il-76s,[125] which are getting replaced by C-17 Globemaster IIIs.[126][127]

The C-130J of the IAF is used by special forces for combined Army-Air Force operations.[128] India purchased six C-130Js; however, one such C-130J crashed at Gwalior on 28 March 2014 while on a training mission, killing all 5 onboard and destroying the aircraft.[129][130] The Antonov An-32 known as Sutlej (name of an Indian river) serves as medium transport aircraft in the IAF. The aircraft is also used in bombing roles and para-dropping operations.[131] The IAF currently operates 105 An-32s, all of which are being upgraded.[131] The Dornier Do 228 serves as light transport aircraft in the IAF.[132] The IAF also operates Boeing 737s[133] and Embraer ECJ-135 Legacy aircraft[134] as VIP transports and passenger airliners for troops. Other VIP transport aircraft are used for both the President of India and the Prime Minister of India under the call sign Air India One.[135]

The Hawker Siddeley HS 748 once formed the backbone of the IAF's transport fleet, but are now used mainly for training and communication duties.[136] A replacement is under consideration.[137]

Trainer aircraft[edit]

The HAL HPT-32 Deepak is IAF's basic flight training aircraft for cadets.[138] The HPT-32 was grounded in July 2009 following a crash that killed two senior flight instructors,[139] but was revived in May 2010[139] and is to be fitted with a parachute recovery system (PRS) to enhance survivability during an emergency in the air and to bring the trainer down safely.[139] The HPT-32 is to be phased out soon.[139] The IAF uses the HAL HJT-16 Kiran mk.I for intermediate flight training of cadets, while the HJT-16 Kiran mk.II provides advanced flight and weapons training.[140][141] The HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 is also operated by the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) of the IAF.[142] The Kiran is to be replaced by the HAL HJT-36 Sitara.[143] The BAE Hawk Mk 132 serves as an advanced jet trainer in the IAF and is progressively replacing the Kiran Mk.II. The IAF has begun the process of converting the Surya Kiran display team to Hawks.[90] A total of 106 BAE Hawk trainers have been ordered by the IAF of which 39 have entered service as of July 2010.[144]

Helicopters[edit]

IAF HAL Dhruv.

The HAL Dhruv serves primarily as a light utility helicopter in the IAF. In addition to transport and utility roles, newer Dhruvs are also used as attack helicopters.[145] 4 Dhruvs are also operated by the Indian Air Force Sarang Helicopter Display Team.[92] The HAL Chetak is a light utility helicopter and is used primarily for training, rescue and light transport roles in the IAF.[146] The HAL Chetak is being gradually replaced by HAL Dhruv.[146] The HAL Cheetah is a light utility helicopter used for high altitude operations. It is used for both transport and search-and-rescue missions in the IAF.[147] The Mil Mi-8 and the Mil Mi-17, Mi-17 1V and Mi-17V 5 are operated by the IAF for medium lift strategic and utility roles. The Mi-8 is being progressively replaced by the Mi-17 series of helicopters.[148][149] The IAF has ordered 80+59 Mi-17V-5s to replace and augment its existing fleet of Mi-8s and Mi-17s. .[150] The Mil Mi-26 serves as a heavy lift helicopter in the IAF. It can also be used to transport troops or as a flying ambulance. The IAF currently operates 4 Mi-26s.[151]

The Mil Mi-35 serves primarily as an attack helicopter in the IAF. The Mil Mi-35 can also act as a low-capacity troop transport. The IAF currently operates 2 squadrons (No.104 Firebirds and No.125 Gladiators) of Mi-25/35s.[152]

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles[edit]

The IAF currently uses the IAI Searcher II[153] and IAI Heron[154] for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes. The IAI Harpy serves as an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) which is designed to attack radar systems.[155] The IAF also operates the DRDO Lakshya which serves as realistic towed aerial sub-targets for live fire training.[156]

Land-based missile systems[edit]

Surface-to-air missile systems[edit]

The S-125 Pechora[157] and the 9K33 Osa[103] as Surface-to-air missile systems in service is getting replaced with the Akash medium range surface-to-air missile system. A total of 8 squadrons has been ordered so far.[158]

Ballistic missiles[edit]

The IAF currently operates the Prithvi-II short-range ballistic missile (SRBM). The Prithvi-II is an IAF-specific variant of the Prithvi ballistic missile.[159]

Network-centric warfare[edit]

The Air Force Network (AFNET), a robust digital information grid that enabled quick and accurate threat responses, was launched in 2010, helping the IAF become a truly network-centric air force. AFNET is a secure communication network linking command and control centres with offensive aircraft, sensor platforms and ground missile batteries. Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS), an automated system for Air Defence operations will ride the AFNet backbone integrating ground and airborne sensors, weapon systems and command and control nodes. Subsequent integration with civil radar and other networks shall provide an integrated Air Situation Picture, and reportedly acts as a force multiplier for intelligence analysis, mission control, and support activities like maintenance and logistics. The design features multiple layers of security measures, including encryption and intrusion prevention technologies, to hinder and deter espionage efforts.[160]

Future of the Indian Air Force[edit]

The number of aircraft in the IAF has been decreasing from the late 1990s due to retirement of older aircraft and several crashes. To deal with the depletion of force levels, the IAF has started to modernise its fleet. This includes both the upgrade of existing aircraft, equipment and infrastructure as well as induction of new aircraft and equipment, both indigenous and imported. As new aircraft enter service and numbers recover, the IAF plans to have a fleet of 42 squadrons.[161]

Current acquisitions[edit]

The HAL Light Combat Helicopter will be in service by December 2015.

The IAF has placed orders for 48 HAL Tejas fighters,[162] 112 Pilatus PC-7MkII basic trainers,[163][164] 72 HAL HJT-36 Sitara trainers,[90] 10 C-17 Globemaster III strategic air-lifters,[165] 65 HAL Light Combat Helicopters,[166] 139 Mi-17V-5 helicopters.[150][167] and the IAF has also ordered 18 Israeli SPYDER Surface to Air Missile (SAM) units.[168] It was announced in 2012 that India will order 126 Dassault Rafale multi-role fighters at a cost of USD 20 billion as part of the MRCA competition,[169][170] 6 Airbus A330 tanker aircraft,[171] 22 AH-64E Apache Longbow heavy attack helicopters,[172] 12 VVIP-configured AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters,[173] 15 CH-47F medium lift helicopters[174] and IAI Harop UCAVs.[155][175] As of January 2013, news reports have begun to appear that India may order an additional 63 Rafale fighter jets from France, increasing the total number of the French jets to 189.[176] The IAF has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for 16 C-27J Spartan medium military transport aircraft.[177] A new Request For Information has been issued to replace Hawker Siddeley HS 748 for $2.4 billion.[178] The IAF also submitted a request for information to international suppliers for a stealth unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV)[179] and the Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD) will float a tender for 125 light helicopters.

DRDO and HAL projects[edit]

Indian defence companies such as HAL and DRDO are developing several aircraft for the IAF such as the HAL Tejas,[114][115] Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA),[180] DRDO AEW&CS (revived from the Airavat Project),[181] NAL Saras,[182] HAL HJT-36 Sitara,[183] HAL HTT-40, HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH),[184] HAL Light Observation Helicopter (LOH),[185] DRDO Rustom[186] and AURA (Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft) UCAV.[187] DRDO has developed the Akash missile system for the IAF[188][189] and is developing the Maitri SAM with MBDA.[190] DRDO is also developing the Prithvi II ballistic missile.[191]

HAL has undertaken the joint development of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft)[192] (a derivative project of the Sukhoi PAK FA) and the UAC/HAL Il-214 Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA)[193] with Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). DRDO has entered in a joint venture with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to develop the Barak 8 SAM.[194] DRDO is developing the air-launched version of the BrahMos cruise missile in a joint venture with Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia. DRDO is also developing the nuclear capable Nirbhay cruise missile.[195]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ According to an Indian reports, a MiG-27 crashed from engine trouble and the escorting MiG-21 was shot down by Pakistani fire while trying to aid the downed pilot. The MiG-21 pilot was killed and the MiG-27 pilot was taken as a war prisoner. Pakistan claims both jets were downed by Pakistani air defence after they crossed into its territory. India claims they were lost over Indian territory.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "World Air Forces 2014". Flightglobal.com
  2. ^ "The IAF Motto". Official Website. Webmaster IAF – Air Headquarters. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "A Mother in India: 8th October". 22 October 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "SBP Sinha appointed as Deputy chief of Indian Air Force". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  5. ^ http://topyaps.com/top-10-strongest-air-forces-of-the-world
  6. ^ http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/the-top-10-largest-combat-air-forces-in-the-world/7/
  7. ^ http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/world-top-10-strongest-air-forces-india-is-at-no-7-26845.html
  8. ^ a b c d "Indian Air Force Museum – Heraldry (Badges and Insignia)". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Air Force Act, 1950. Ministry of Law & Justice. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "India in aerospace defence plan". BBC. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "India Begins Work On Space Weapons Command". Indo-Asian News Service (IANS). 12 April 2006. Archived from the original on 24 April 2006. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "Aid to Civil Power". Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "HC Deb 3 April 1933 vol 276 cc1473-501". Hansard. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "History of the IAF". Official Website. Webmaster IAF – Air Headquarters. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  15. ^ a b Bedi, Sanjeev (Summer 2008). "Strategic Role of Air Power". Air Power Journal (Center for Air Power Studies) 3 (2): 27–45. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  16. ^ Goyal, S.N. (October 1993). "1939–45 Second World War: Air Force Reminiscences". Sainik Samachar. Indian Air Force. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  17. ^ http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?31169-Royal-Indian-Air-Force-in-WW2-Lots-of-Rare-Pics
  18. ^ Engineer, Aspy M. (February 1993). "Air Marshal Aspy Engineer's Recollections". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Lyon 2008, p. 79
  20. ^ Massey 2005, p. 97
  21. ^ Barua 2005, p. 192
  22. ^ "The Congolese Rescue Operation". US Army History. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  23. ^ a b Singh, Charanjit (Monsoon 2005). "The Congo Diary". Air Power Journal (Center for Air Power Studies) 2 (3): 27–45.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  24. ^ "Air Force History". Global Security. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f Jagan Pillarisetti. "The Liberation of Goa: 1961". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  26. ^ a b Pradhan 2010, p. 185
  27. ^ a b c d Qadir, Shaukat (9 September 2005). "Operation Gibraltar: Battle that never was". The 1965 War, 40 Years On. Rediff News. Retrieved 17 January 2012. Pakistan ... undertook a guerrilla operation inside Indian held Kashmir with a large number of regular soldiers ... expecting to be welcomed by the local population and raise them up in arms against the Indian government. 
  28. ^ Pradhan & Chavan 2007, p. xiv
  29. ^ Thomas 1996, p. 11
  30. ^ Sisodia & Bhaskar 2005, p. 82
  31. ^ Gupta 1997, p. 43
  32. ^ Dixit 2002, p. 149
  33. ^ Air Marshal Ashok K Goel(retd.). "Sabre Slayers – The Gnat in India". 
  34. ^ Praval 1975, p. 6
  35. ^ Jones 1985, p. 78
  36. ^ Boyne & Fopp 2002, p. 619
  37. ^ "The Folland Gnat / HAL Ajeet". 1 December 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  38. ^ "A Whale of a Fighter: the Su-7 in IAF Service". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  39. ^ Sisson & Rose 1991, p. 229
  40. ^ Jagan Pillarisetti. "Boyra Encounter – 22nd November 1971". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  41. ^ Newsweek: 34. 20 December 1971. ISSN 0028-9604. Trying to catch the Indian Air Force napping, Yahya Khan, launched a Pakistani version of Israel's 1967 air blitz in hopes that one quick blow would cripple India's far superior air power. But India was alert and Yahya's strategy of scattering his thin air force over a dozen air fields failed! 
  42. ^ Kainikara 2011, p. 195
  43. ^ a b c "The War of December 1971". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  44. ^ Shorey, Anil (February 2005). "Battle of Longewala: Best of Braves". Sainik Samachar 52 (4). Retrieved 12 April 2009. 
  45. ^ Mohan, Jagan. "When lightning strikes". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 12 April 2009. 
  46. ^ "Bangladesh: Out of War, a Nation Is Born". TIME (Time Inc.). 20 December 1971. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  47. ^ Independent research, conducted after the war reported 29 PAF aircraft lost including 10 F-86s left on the ground in the East compared to 59 IAF aircraft lost.[21] the PAF flying 2,914 combat sorties while the IAF flew 7,346 combat sorties[22] [23] during the conflict.[24]Wilson 2002, p. 58
  48. ^ Choudhury, Ishfaq Ilahi. "Air aspect of the Liberation War 1971". Daily Star. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  49. ^ Ives 2004, p. 186
  50. ^ Talbott 2006, p. 164
  51. ^ Karthikeyan et al. 2011, p. 109
  52. ^ a b c d e Pillarisetti, Jagan. "Operation Poomalai – The Jaffna Food drop". The Indian Air Force in Sri Lanka – 1987–90. Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  53. ^ Weisman, Steven R. (5 June 1987). "India Airlifts Aid to Tamil Rebels". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  54. ^ a b c d "OP Pwan". Know Us. Indian Air Force. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  55. ^ a b c "Official website of Indian Air Force". Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  56. ^ a b "India launches Kashmir air attack". BBC News. 26 May 1999. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  57. ^ a b c Camp, Philip. "The Mirage 2000 at Kargil". Kargil 1999. Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  58. ^ Bammi 2002
  59. ^ "India loses two jets". BBC News. 27 May 1999. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  60. ^ Dutta, Sujan (22 May 2006). "Flyer pushes frontier again – Nachiketa returns to area where his plane was shot down". Calcutta, India: Telegraph India. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  61. ^ a b Ganguly & Kapur 2008, p. 105
  62. ^ Jones 2003, p. 97
  63. ^ Kapur 2007, p. 122
  64. ^ "IAF Scores a Kill !!! Factual Account of Interception". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 12 April 2009. 
  65. ^ "IAF shoots down Pak intruder plane". The Indian Express. 11 August 1999. Retrieved 25 April 2009. 
  66. ^ Ian MacKinnon (11 August 1999). "16 dead as India shoots down Pakistani naval plane". The Independent (London). Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  67. ^ IAF to have 42 combat aircraft squadrons
  68. ^ "IAF's C-130J transporter lands near India-China border". Business Standard. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  69. ^ "10 reasons why IAF's C-130J Super Hercules landing in Daulat Beg Oldie, Ladakh is important". India Today. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  70. ^ "Indian Air Force lands Super Hercules transport plane on airstrip near LAC". The Indian Express. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  71. ^ "IAF scrambles fighter jets as Turkish plane sparks alert". Patrika Group. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  72. ^ "Indian Air Force chopper crashes in Uttar Pradesh, 7 feared killed". Patrika Group (26 July 2014). Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  73. ^ "Marshal of the Indian Air Force". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 4 May 2009. 
  74. ^ a b "Indian Air Force". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  75. ^ "Air Force Wings, FBSUs and CMUs". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  76. ^ "Air Force FBSUs and CMUs". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  77. ^ "Indian Air Force". 10 August 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  78. ^ http://careerairforce.nic.in/life_airforce/lifeair_cargraph_officers.html
  79. ^ "Indian Air Force: Career Opportunities". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  80. ^ "Constitution of Commando Force" (Press release). Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 18 December 2003. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  81. ^ "India goes to war in space". 18 June 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  82. ^ 'India attains the capability to target, destroy space satellites in orbit' : NATION – India Today
  83. ^ "India's spy satellite boost". BBC. 27 November 2001. Retrieved 31 July 2009. 
  84. ^ Herman, Steve (20 April 2008). "India Launches High-Tech Imaging Satellite". Voice of America. Retrieved 31 July 2009. 
  85. ^ "CARTOSAT-2A". Earth Observation Satellites. ISRO. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  86. ^ "NDTV.com: India to launch first military satellite in August". 10 June 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  87. ^ "Spy satellite to catch miners, land encroachers". 12 July 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  88. ^ a b c "SURYAKIRANS". armedforces.nic.in. 
  89. ^ "Squadrons and Helicopter Units". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  90. ^ a b c "IAF’s Surya Kirans to fly Hawk’s". 10 October 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  91. ^ "ILA 2008: Proud as Peacocks". 
  92. ^ a b "IAFs Sarang helicopter display team adjudged the best at Berlin air show". 12 June 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  93. ^ Cordesman & Kleiber 2006, p. 24
  94. ^ Hackett 2010, p. 360
  95. ^ "Career Opportunities as an Officer: Intermediate (10+2)". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  96. ^ "Career Opportunities as an Officer: Graduate". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  97. ^ "Career Opportunities as an Officer: Engineer". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  98. ^ "Career Opportunities as an Officer: Post Graduate". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  99. ^ "Career Opportunities as an Officer". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  100. ^ "Career Graph (for Officers)". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  101. ^ a b c d "Central Airmen Selection Board". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  102. ^ IAF clips Sachin Tendulkar, M S Dhoni wings – Indian Express
  103. ^ a b "Air HQ Communication Squadron". Global Security. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  104. ^ "Non Combatant(Enrolled) – Pension Chart". Principal Controller of Defence Accounts. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  105. ^ "AFRO Career Planning". Indian Air Force. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  106. ^ "Air Force Equipment". Global Security.org. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  107. ^ "Indian Air Force Opts for More Su-30MKI, Despite Problems". 18 December 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  108. ^ Hackett, James (2013). The Military Balance 2013, Chapter 6 – Asia. Oxfordshire: Routledge, IISS. p. 301. ISBN 978-1857436808.  As of March 2014.
  109. ^ Anton Denisov (5 February 2011). "Russia tests upgraded MiG-29 fighter for IAF". en.rian.ru. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  110. ^ "Two IAF Mirage aircraft flown to France for upgradation". 6 December 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  111. ^ "French jet Rafale bags $20bn IAF fighter order; India 'briefs' losing European countries". The Times of India. 1 February 2012. 
  112. ^ "India’s Fighter Modernisation: Add MiG-29s to the List". Defense Industry Daily. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  113. ^ "MiG 21s to be phased out from 2014: Antony". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  114. ^ a b "LCA Tejas makes successful flight". Times of India. 23 April 2010. 
  115. ^ a b "Light combat aircraft flies with near-full gear". Daily News and Analysis. India. 
  116. ^ Naik, V.P. (26 September 2008). "IAF aiming for Diverse Capabilities, says Vice Chief of Air Staff". Air Marshal P V Naik's Keynote Address on Fighter Technology and Advance Systems. India Strategic. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  117. ^ "HAL To Tie-Up With BAE Systems For Jaguar Upgrade". 30 November 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  118. ^ "MiG-27 crashes into field, 1 killed". The Times of India. 25 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  119. ^ "Russia sends 3rd AWACS plane to India". 4 November 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  120. ^ "First AWACS aircraft lands at Jamnagar air base in Gujarat". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 26 May 2009. 
  121. ^ India set to decide big military aircraft deals
  122. ^ Mukherjee, Amit (29 September 2004). "IAF to get 5th IL-78 refueller soon". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  123. ^ Kopp, Carlo. "The PLA-AF's Aerial Refuelling Programmes". Air Power Australia. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  124. ^ "Illyushin Il-76MD [Candid] Gajraj". Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  125. ^ "http://www.brahmand.com/news/C-17-Globemaster-IAFs-new-heavy-lift-transport-aircraft/3759/1/15.html". 28 April 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  126. ^ Bedi, Rahul (5 July 2010). "IAF completes C-17 test-flight". Retrieved 21 July 2010. 
  127. ^ "Indian Air Force :: Illyushin 76MD, 78MKI, A-50 – Serials". Bharat-rakshak.com. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  128. ^ "Lockheed delivers fifth C130J to IAF". Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  129. ^ "IAF Super Hercules Crash: 5 Air Force Personnel killed in Gwalior". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  130. ^ "Deals for Acquisition of C-130 J Super Hercules (Press Release)". 7 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  131. ^ a b "IAF An-32 planes in Ukraine for upgrades". 21 March 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  132. ^ "Dornier Do-228". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  133. ^ "Boeing 737". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  134. ^ "Embraer EMB135 Legacy". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  135. ^ "April 1 date for President with business jets". Zee News. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  136. ^ "HAL HS 748M Avro". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  137. ^ "India clears $2.4 billion plan to buy cargo planes for Air Force". IANS. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  138. ^ "HAL HPT-32 Deepak". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  139. ^ a b c d Sharma, Ravi (16 May 2010). "IAF gives nod for HPT-32 revival". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  140. ^ "HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.1/1A". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  141. ^ "HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.II". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  142. ^ "SURYAKIRANS". Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  143. ^ "HJT-36 Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer, India". Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  144. ^ "India inks deal with BAE for 57 Hawk aircraft". The Times of India. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  145. ^ "HAL Dhruv". Retrieved 20 July 2010. IAF Dhruvs, can carry a 20mm gun plus eight anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) or four air-to-air missiles or four 68mm rocket pods on outriggers. 
  146. ^ a b "HAL Chetak (Alouette III)". Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  147. ^ "HAL Cheetah (Alouette II)". Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  148. ^ "Mil Mi-8 (Hip) Rana". Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  149. ^ "Mil Mi-17 (Hip) Pratap". Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  150. ^ a b Gulshan Luthra and Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd) (August 2010). "http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories694.htm". India Strategic. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  151. ^ "Mil Mi-26 (Halo)". Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  152. ^ "Mil Mi-25 / Mi-35 (Hind) Akbar". Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  153. ^ "Searcher Mk II Delivered To India". israeli-weapons.com. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  154. ^ "Heron MALE System—Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV". defence-update.com. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  155. ^ a b Pandit, Rajat (5 July 2010). "Air Force hunts for combat drones". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  156. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Government of India. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  157. ^ MissileUnits.html "Air Force Equipment – Missiles – SAM". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  158. ^ "Akash Missile". 13 April 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  159. ^ "Prithvi". 5 November 2002. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  160. ^ "IAF's AFNET NCW Backbone Goes Live Next Week". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  161. ^ "IAF fighter squadrons to rise to 42 by 2022: Antony". The Times of India. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2009. 
  162. ^ "Air force to get 20 more Tejas fighter aircraft, says Antony". 7 July 2010. 
  163. ^ Jay Menon (16 June 2011). "India Selects Pilatus Basic Trainer". Aviation Week. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  164. ^ "IAF to order 37 more Pilatus trainers worth Rs 1,250 cr". Business Standard. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  165. ^ "India to buy six more C-17 air-lifters from US". Hindustan Times. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2010. 
  166. ^ "Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)". Knol. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  167. ^ "IAF orders additional 59 Mi-17 choppers from Russia". domain-b.com. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  168. ^ "IAF orders Israeli Spyder Missile". September 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  169. ^ "Path clear for Rafale fighter deal: Antony". 11 July 2012. 
  170. ^ K.V. Prasad (31 January 2012). "Rafale edges out Eurofighter". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  171. ^ "Airbus Wins India’s Tanker Rebid". 31 October 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  172. ^ "Airbus Wins India’s Tanker Rebid". 1 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  173. ^ Tom Kington (11 March 2010). "Indian AF To Buy 12 AgustaWestland AW101 Helos". Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  174. ^ "US pips Russia as 'lowest bidder' for heavy-lift 15-chopper deal". The Times of India. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  175. ^ Egozi, Arie (9 April 2010). "Indian air force orders Harop loitering munitions". Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  176. ^ "India mulls huge increase in Rafale order, may buy up to 189 fighter jets". 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  177. ^ "IAF issues RFI for C 27J Spartan". July 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  178. ^ "MoD Clears $2.4 bn Plan To Buy Cargo Planes For IAF". Defence News. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  179. ^ "India canvasses global suppliers for stealthy UCAV". 7 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  180. ^ "India reveals plan to develop indigenous medium fighter". 
  181. ^ "Cabinet panel nod for `Airawat' project". The Hindu. 10 September 2004. Retrieved 24 April 2009. 
  182. ^ "Lighter version of Saras aircraft to fly out next year". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 26 June 2008. 
  183. ^ "HAL’s intermediate jet trainer HJT-36 makes maiden flight with Russian engine". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 14 May 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  184. ^ "Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)Specifications". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  185. ^ "HAL looks at foreign partners for chopper project". The Times of India. 29 September 2008. 
  186. ^ "India developing UAV similar to American Predator drone". The Economic Times. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  187. ^ Aroor, Shiv (11 June 2010). "AURA: India's UCAV Programme". Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  188. ^ "IAF initiates process for inducting Akash and Trishul SAM’s". Frontier India. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  189. ^ "IAF to induct Akash missile". The Indian Express. 26 December 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2009. 
  190. ^ "Indo-French Maitri SR-SAM Awaits Workshare Clearance". 11 February 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  191. ^ "Prithvi". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 24 April 2009. 
  192. ^ Pubby, Manu (12 October 2007). "India, Russia to ink pact for developing fighters". The Indian Express. Retrieved 1 August 2009. 
  193. ^ "Russia, India may form military transport planes JV in 2–3 months". 
  194. ^ "Barak-2 LR-SAM maiden flight later this year". 1 February 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  195. ^ "IAF Sukhoi Fleet to be Equipped with Homemade Nirbhay Missiles". 21 May 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]