Indian Air Force is the air wing of the Indian Armed Forces. It has been always there for the needs of citizens of our nation. Our officers and soldiers are well trained and are the most disciplined personnel among military persons all over the world. On paper, it may be the fourth strongest Air Force in the world, but words cannot describe the excellence and disciplined lifestyle of the Indian Air Force. Even the strongest militaries in the world admire the bravery and courage of our officers and soldiers because they are the most skilled personnel and are proactive.
Indian Air Force was founded on October 8, 1932, under British rule. To remember this day, we celebrate Air Force Day every year with great enthusiasm. The motto of the Indian Air Force is “Nabhah Sprsam Diptam” which is taken from the Sanskrit language meaning, “Touch the sky with glory”. Former President Dr. Rajendra Prasad gave it on 21 April 1959, which is derived from Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta’s eleventh adhaey, 24th shloka.
Indian Air Force is the world’s fourth-largest Air Force with 139576 active personnel and 140000 reserve personnel. It operates on more than 1700 Aircraft which include attack, fighter, transport, trainer, Reconnaissance, and trainer aircraft.
Also Read, The Glorious Journey of the Indian Air Force
Some of the Aircrafts which form frontline of our Borders are –
- Attack Aircrafts – Sepecat Jaguar
- Multirole Aircraft – Dassault Rafale, Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, Dassault Mirage 2000, Mig-29, Mig-21, HAL Tejas
- Electronic Warfare – A-50 E/I, DRDO AEW&CS – NETRA
- Helicopter – Dhruv, Chetak, Cheetah, Mi-8, Rudra, Mi-17, Apache AH-64E, CH-47 Chinook
- Reconnaissance – Searcher II, Heron
- Trainer – Hawk Mk 132, HAL HJT-16 Kiran, Pilatus C-7 MK II
- Transport – C-130J Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, An-32, Boeing 737, ERJ 135
- Tanker Aircraft – IL-78 MKI
Indian Air Force played a major role in World War II. Pilots performed the role of reconnaissance, strike, bombing, and close air support quite efficiently. IAF participated in the war for allied powers where major of the strikes destroyed Japan’s military bases.
Indian Air force has played a major role in combat after the independence of India. Some major operations by IAF are Operation Meghdoot, Operation Safed Sagar, Operation Vijay, etc. Officers and soldiers of our Air Force showed up every single time whenever they are needed the most. IAF conducted the biggest rescue operation of all time- ‘Operation Rahat’, where IAF lifted around 20000 civilians flying a total of about 2000 sorties through Helicopters. No country has rescued such a large number of people before. Isn’t it a matter of pride, we live in a country where the life of even a single person is always more important than anything else!
This is what our culture has always taught us. IAF pilots have always been taught not to eject unless it is the only option left. So many times, we hear the news about the crashing of an IAF plane due to technical reasons but the pilot prevented the plane from falling in a populated area. It sounds easy but it really is not. They undergo rigorous training for years and after a long time and hard work and dedication, they get to wear the uniform, imagine the situation where they have to choose between their own life and citizens’ lives. It must be a very difficult decision to make, you need to think logically within seconds of timespan.
Operation Safed Sagar
During the Kargil war, 1999, IAF provided support to the Indian Army. Indian Air Force named the operation ‘Operation Safed Sagar’. IAF used MIG-21, MIG-27, MIG-29 to keep track of Pakistan’s activities. Pilots successfully bombed various targets which provided a major lead to Indian Armed Forces to tackle the situation positively.
2019 Balakot Strike
After the rising of tensions between India and Pakistan following the terrorist attack in Pulwama, killing 46 personnel of CRPF, IAF planned airstrikes to demolish terrorist camps across LOC. On February 27, Pakistan in response to airstrikes, sent a group of PAF Mirage- 5 and JF-17 planes to attempt an airstrike in Indian Regions. However, IAF SU-30 MKI and MIG-21 jets intercepted them. IAF shot down a PAF F-16 in the dogfight. But Pakistan was not able to digest this truth and was not accepting it. However, IAF presented the remains of AMRAAM missiles, which can only be carried by F-16. PAF claimed a win over MIG-21 and SU-30 MKI, however, the truth was only about MIG-21 and the Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander ‘Abhinandan Varthaman’ ejected in Pakistan territory. Pakistan forces captured him as a prisoner of war but had to release him as per the Third Geneva Convention.