Guardian of the sky
The Indian Air Force recently celebrated its 83 years of service to the nation. Be it rescue operations or an air drop, the Indian Air Force has always been there and set an example for everyone to follow.
Here we provide you a few facts that you must know about the Indian Air Force.
- The Indian Air Force is one the largest, operational Air Force in the world. It comes on number four. It is just behind the American, Russian and Chinese Air Force.
- The Indian Air Force presently operates as many as 1,623 aircrafts and has the strength of 175,000 active personnel.
- Before India’s Independence, Indian Air Force was called the Royal Indian Air Force. It was only after 1950 that the air force dropped the prefix ‘Royal’ and called itself the Indian Air Force.
- Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India is the ex-officio Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force.
- Arjan Singh is the only officer in the Indian Air Force who has been promoted to a five-star rank, which makes him the Marshal of the Indian Air Force. This makes him the only living Indian military officer with a five-star rank.
- During the Indo-Pak war of 1965, IAF was at a clear disadvantage as far as the quality of the aircrafts was concerned. Pakistan was helped by the United States. IAF still managed to inflict a humiliating defeat to the PAF.
- Sukhoi-30MKI is Indian Air Force’s frontline fighter jet. It can easily give competition to some of the most sophisticated fighters in the world such as Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, and F-series fighter of the United States Air Force.
- The first Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force was not an Indian. Sir Thomas Elmhirst was born in England and he was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force ( 1 April 1954 – 8 November 1960)