Shashindra Pal Tyagi

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Shashindra Pal Tyagi
ACM Tyagi.jpg
Nickname(s) Bundle
Born March 14, 1945
Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Allegiance India India
Service/branch  Indian Air Force
Years of service December 31, 1963 – 2007
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held Central Air Command
South Western Air Command
Western Air Command
Indian Air Force
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

Air Chief Marshal Shashindra Pal Tyagi, more commonly known as 'S P Tyagi,' served as the 20th Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force and served from 31 December 2004 to 31 March 2007. He was succeed by Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Popularly known as "Bundle", he was born on 14 March 1945 in Indore. He is an alumnus of St Xavier School in Jaipur.


He was commissioned in the IAF on 31 December 1963 in the fighter stream. The initial years of his career in the air force, Tyagi flew Gnats with No.23 Squadron and later served with Hunters of No.27 Squadron. A veteran of both the 1965 and the 1971 Wars, he was one of the pioneer batch of eight pilots selected for conversion on the Jaguar Interdiction aircraft when it was inducted in 1980s. Whilst training at Lossiemouth, he was one of the two Indian pilots chosen for a Photo Recce Course at Coltishall with No.41 Squadron RAF.

Tyagi commanded No.14 Squadron "Bulls" later after coming back to India. A Graduate of the TACDE with a Fighter Combat Leader and Pilot Attack Instructor qualifications, he had also attended the Junior Commanders Course, the National Defence College and finally the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington. He received the Vayu Sena Medal (VM) for distinguished service in 1985.

In his mid career, Tyagi had several other appointments. He was an instructor at TACDE. As an Air Commodore, Tyagi commanded 33 Wing at Jamnagar. Later he was also posted as the Defence Attache at the Indian Consulate in Saudi Arabia. Air Commodore Tyagi was awarded the Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) in 1994.

He also held the appointments of Director Operations (Air Defence), ACAS (Intelligence), ACAS (Ops). He has had a stint as a senior fellow at the IDSA and was also a senior Instructor and Directing Staff at the DSSC, Wellington.

In the rank of Air Marshal, Tyagi was appointed as the SASO of Central Air Command for some time. He took over as the AOC-in-C of Central Air Command not soon after. He is one of the few officers to have the distinction of commanding three Air Commands, Central, South Western and Western Air Command. Prior to becoming chief of Indian Air Force, he was commanding the Western Air Command of the Air Force.

Air Marshal Tyagi was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) in 2003, and was appointed as one of the honorary ADCs of the President of India. He has the distinction of being the one and only Air Chief Marshal to have done skydiving after being appointed to a high post as Chief of the Air Staff of Indian Air Force.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Mrs. Vandana Tyagi and they have a son and a daughter.


Tyagi was briefly named in an Italian Investigation into bribes paid to secure a Helicopter Contract, although further information created doubts in the matter. [1] As per the unverified testimoy of an Italian businessman, he received illegal payments to change the technical specifications of the helicopters which favored Augsta Westland which was finally awarded the deal. However, further investigation showed that the technical specifications were changed prior to his tenure on the orders of Brajesh Mishra, the National Security Adviser, in the Prime Minister's office (PMO).[2][3] According to the investigators, 21 million euros (about Rs 150 crore) were paid as kickbacks under the cover of engineering contracts reportedly through companies IDS Tunisia and IDS India.[4] A businessman named Sanjeev 'Julie' Tyagi, a close relative of S P Tyagi, one of the key suspects in the VVIP helicopter scandal, has denied reports filed in an Italian court, saying he had nothing to do with the 2010 defence deal.[5] Detailed government documents revealed that the decision taken to change the technical specification were suggested and agreed upon by stake holders from multiple government agencies, including the Prime Minister's Office, the SPG, and others.[6][7][8]

In April 2016, an Italian court said there was "reasonable belief that corruption took place" in the 2010 VVIP helicopter deal and that former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi was involved. Following necessary investigations, he was arrested by CBI on 9 December 2016.[9]


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy
Chief of the Air Staff (India)
31 December 2004 – 31 March 2007
Succeeded by
Fali Homi Major