Amazing Facts You Should Know About The Indian Air Force

Hello Defence Lovers, Though India is not counted among powerful countries in terms of infrastructure and development, but it is surely counted among countries with the most powerful armed forces. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. The Indian Air Force, also known as Bharatiya Vayu Sena. Its key role is to keep the Indian aerospace resistant to attacks and manage the aerial warfare during the conflict. The Indian Air Force is one of the most formidable air forces in the world. In this article we have provided some amazing facts about the Indian Air Force which will increase your respect for the Indian Air Force ten-fold.

Also Read, How To Be A Fighter Pilot In Indian Air Force
  • The Indian Air Force is the 4th greatest air force in the world with about 170, 000 employees and 1, 500 plane using from more than 60 air bases.
  • 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.
  • India’s Air Force has over 600 fighter planes and more than 500 transportation and helicopters.

  • The air force takes pride in its own capability to fly low and quickly, as well as to run under extreme conditions of temperature and elevation which range from the Thar Desert to the Siachen Glacier.
  • The air force has improved the capacity of its fighter force by the improvement of the multi role Sukhoi 30, and it expects to replace much of its Mig21 fleet with the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft now under development.
  • The IAF was referred to as Royal Indian Air Force till 1950, after King George VI conferred the prefix “Royal” in 1945. In 1950, when India became a republic, the prefix was dropped.
  • As of mid-2000, the Indian Air Force had undertaken the acquisition of systems for front line aircraft/helicopter for day/night operations, strengthening of the electronic warfare armour and acquisition of top of the line precision guided ammunitions, enhancement of air defense capacities to ensure early detection and continuous monitoring of any enemy ingress as well as surface to air guided weapons to guarantee lethality in IAF strike power.

  • In 1994, it’d 110, 000 personnel and 779 combat aircraft. The air force, which is based in New Delhi, is led by the chief of air team, an air chief marshal.
  • He’s assisted by six principal staff officials: the vice chief of air staff, the deputy chief of air staff, the air officer responsible for management, the air officer in control of employees, the air officer responsible for care, as well as the inspector general of flight safety.
  • Apart from the Training command in Bangalore, the middle for main flight training is situated at the Air Force Academy at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, accompanied by functional training at different air force schools.
  • Advanced training can be performed at the Defense Services Staff College, specialised advanced flight training schools advanced lie in Bidar, Karnataka, and Hakimpet, Andhra Pradesh. Technical educational institutions are found in a number of other locations.
Also Read, Eligibility Criteria For Joining Indian Air Force After Graduation

  • Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon is the only IAF officer to have been honoured with the Param Vir Chakra. He was awarded posthumously for his act of conspicuous gallantry in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
  • India is building the 5th generation Sukhoi PAK FA in collaboration with Russia. When completed, it will be the most lethal fighter jet in the world alongside the US F-22. It is expected to start flying around 2015.
  • The IAF got its first woman Air Marshal in the form of Padmavathy Bandopadhyay. She was the Director General Medical Services (Air) at the Air Headquarters.

  • The first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst, made the IAF an independent service under no control of the Army. Before independence of India, the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army exercised control over the Air Force too. Air Marshal Elmhirst was also instrumental in turning an incomplete air force into a cohesive fighting machine.
  • The honorary rank of Marshal of the Indian Air Force is the highest achievable rank, and is equivalent to the rank of Field Marshal of the Indian Army. Arjan Singh is the only officer to have attained this rank.
  • The IAF destroyed more than 29 Pakistani tanks, 40 APCs and a railway train during the Battle of Longewala in the 1971 Indo-Pak War besides a number of critical installations. By the time Pakistani forces surrendered, the IAF claimed that 94 PAF aircraft, including 54 F-86 Sabres had been shot down.
  • 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 feat was accomplished on August 20, 2013.
  • The Tejas is the second supersonic Light Combat Aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • The IAF is the only air force that operates C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Super Hercules, and Il-76 – the three largest transport aircrafts.
  • Operation Rahat was the biggest civilian rescue operation in the world carried out by any air force using helicopters.The rescue operation was launched by the IAF to evacuate civilians affected by the 2013 North India floods. The IAF airlifted a total of 19,600 people – flying a total of 2,140 sorties and dropping/landing a total of 3,82,400 kg of relief material and equipment.
  • The Garud Commando Force is the special forces unit of the Indian Air Force. It was formed in September 2004 and has a current strength of approximately 1080 personnel.
Also Read, Facts You Should Know About Indian Air Force Academy

The Indian Air Force Motto :

  • The Motto of Indian Air Force has been taken from eleventh chapter of the Gita, the Discourse given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra during the Great War of Mahabharata.
  • The Lord is showing His Supreme Divine form to Arjuna and the great form of the Lord is reaching the sky with glory, evoking fear and loss of self-control in the mind of Arjuna.
  • The Indian Air Force, similarly, aims to overwhelm the adversaries with application of aerospace power in defence of the nation.

  • Lord, seeing your form, Touching the Sky With Glory, effulgent, multi-coloured, having its mouth wide open and possessing large flaming eyes, I, with my innermost self frightened, have lost self-control and find no peace.
Indian Air Force Strength :


SU-30 MKI :
  • Twin seater twin engine multirole fighter of Russian origin which carries One X 30mm GSH gun along with 8000 kg external armament. 
  • It is capable of carrying a variety of medium-range guided air to air missiles with active or semi-active radar or Infra red homing close range missiles.  It has a max  speed of 2500 km/hr (Mach 2.35).
Mirage-2000 :
  • A single seater air defence and multi-role fighter of French origin powered by a single engine can attain max speed of 2495 km/hr(Mach 2.3).
  • It  carries two 30mm integral cannons and two matra super 530D medium-range and two R-550 magic II close combat missiles on external stations.
MiG-29 :
  • Twin engine, single seater air superiority fighter aircraft of Russian origin capable of attaining max. speed of 2445 km per hour (Mach-2.3).
  • It  has a combat ceiling of 17 km.  It carries a 30mm cannon along with four R-60 close combat and two R-27 R medium range radar guided missiles.
Also Read, Deadliest Weapons Of Indian Air Force


MiG-27 :
  • Single engine, single seater tactical strike fighter aircraft of Russian origin having a max.
  • Speed of 1700 km/hr (Mach 1.6).  It carries one 23 mm six-barrel rotary integral cannon and can carry upto 4000 kg of other armament externally.
MiG-21 BISON :
  • Single engine, single seater multirole fighter/ground attack aircraft of Russian origin which forms the backbone of the IAF.
  • It has a max speed of 2230 km/hr (Mach 2.1) and carries one 23mm twin barrel cannon with four R-60 close combat missiles.
Also Watch, Indian Air Force Official Trailer 2017

Jaguar :
  • A twin-engine, single seater deep penetration strike aircraft of Anglo-French origin which has a max. speed of 1350 km /hr (Mach 1.3).
  • It has two 30mm guns and can carry two R-350 Magic CCMs (overwing) alongwith 4750 kg of external stores (bombs/fuel).
C-130J :
  • The aircraft is capable of performing paradrop, heavy drop, casuality evacuation and can also operate from short and semi prepared surfaces.
  • C-130J is the heaviest aircraft to land at DBO in Aug 2013.
C-17 :
  • The aircraft is capable of carrying a payload of 40-70 tons up to a distance of 4200-9000 km in a single hop.
IL-76 :
  • A four engine heavy duty/long haul military transport aircraft of Russian origin with a max speed of 850 km/hr.
  • It has a twin 23 mm cannon in tail turret and capacity to carry 225 paratroopers or 40 tonnes freight,  wheeled or tracked armoured vehicles.
Also Read, Indian Air Force Grade Pay & Salary Chart After 7th Pay Commission

AN-32 :
  • Twin engine turboprop, medium tactical transport aircraft of Russian origin with a crew of five and capacity to carry 39 paratroopers or max load of 6.7 tonnes.
  • It has a max cruise speed of 530 km/hr.
  • The main role of employment of this executive Jet Aircraft is to convey VVIPs/VIPs to destinations within India and abroad.
  • Air HQ Communication Squadron operates this aircrafts and it has maintained a flawless incident/accident free track record till date.
  • Twin engine turboprop, military transport and freighter of British origin having a capacity of 48 paratroopers or 6 tonnes freight and max   cruise speed of 452 km/hr.
Dornier :
  • Twin engine turboprop, logistic air support staff transport aircraft of German origin capable of carrying 19 passengers or 2057 kg freight.
  • It has a max speed of 428 km/hr.
Boeing 737-200 :
  • Twin engine turbofan, VIP passenger aircraft of American origin with total seating capacity of up to 60 passengers.
  • It has a max cruise speed of 943 km/hr.
MI-25/MI-35 :
  • Twin engine turboshaft, assault and anti armour helicopter capable of carrying 8 men assault squad  with four barrel 12.7 mm rotary gun in nose barbette and up to 1500 Kg of external ordnance including Scorpion anti-tank missiles.
  • It has a max cruise speed of  310 km/hr.

MI-26 :
  • Twin engine turboshaft, military heavy lift helicopter of Russian origin with carrying capacity of 70 combat equipped troops or 20,000 kg payload.
  • It has a max speed of 295 km/hr.
MI-17 V5 :
  • The Mi-17 V5 is a potent helicopter platform, equipped with modern avionics and glass cockpit instrumentation.
  • They are equipped with state-of-art navigational equipment, avionics, weather radar and are NVG-compatible.
Chetak :
  • Single engine turboshaft, light utility French helicopter with capacity of 6 passengers or 500 kg load.
  • It has a max speed of 220 km/hr.
Cheetah :
  • Single engine turboshaft, FAC/casevac helicopter of French origin having capacity to carry 3 passengers or 100 kg external sling loads.
  • It has max cruise speed of 121 km/hr and can climb to 1 km in 4 minutes.
Indian Air Force Is Deployed In Following Five Operational Commands :
  • The Western Air Command, headquartered at New Delhi,
  • The Southern air command, headquartered at Jodhpur, Rajasthan,
  • The Eastern Air Command, headquartered at Shillong, Meghalaya,
  • Central Air Command, headquartered at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, as well as the Southern Air Command, headquartered at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • Of the seven IAF instructions, the Western Air Command will be the most coveted as it covers a big chunk of the Indo Pak border.
Jai Hind