Indian Air Force was founded on 8 October 1932, and since then the force has been a part of several important and landmark missions that have led to the success of the nation. The Indian force has also fought the historic air force battles that have helped build a strong reputation of India on the battlefield and showcase the skills they possess required to protect its nation. This year Indian Air Force will be celebrated to honour India’s aviation industry and the air force personnel who have spent their life for the safety of the nation.
Indian Air Force Day 2022: History
It took the Indian Air Force a lot of practice, dedication, and hard work to excel on the battlefield. The resilience of the officers made sure that the force attained its goal and succeeded in the mission to become one of the strongest in the world.
The Indian Air Force possessed a strength of six RAF-trained officers and 19 air soldiers when it was established initially while their inventory had four Westland Wapiti IIA army cooperation biplanes. It was nothing as compared to the strong air force of other countries in the world. However, after over four years, a flight took off toward North Waziristan to support the Indian Army against insurgent Bhittani tribesmen. A “B” Flight was formed in April 1936 on the vintage Wapiti, and in 1938, a “C” Flight was raised to bring the No. 1 Squadron ostensibly to full strength. Though the strength of the Indian Air Force had risen greatly by the second world war.
This year, for the first time ever, Air Force Day celebrations will be held outside the Delhi NCR. The day will be marked with the annual Air Force Day parade and flypast in Chandigarh.
Here are the some interesting facts about Indian Air Force
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Fourth largest Airforce
Indian Airforce came into existence on 8 October 1932. It is the fourth largest Airforce in the world after U.S.A, Russia, China with approximately 139,576 active personnel,140,000 reserve personnel and 1,748 plus aircraft after the Independence Indian Airforce took part in four wars, three with Pakistan and One with the People's Republic of China.
HAL HF-24 Marut: "Spirit of the Tempest"
It was a fighter-bomber aircraft, developed by HAL in association with Kurt Tank as lead designer. This was the first Indian-developed jet aircraft, and the first Asian jet fighter-bomber to reach beyond the test phase and to the successful production and active service. A total of 147 Marut aircraft were manufactured for Indian Airforce, played an essential role in the 1971 Indo- Pakistan war.
First Airforce to Operate Fighter Jets in Asia
Indian Air Force inducted de Havilland Vampires with the No.7 Squadron "Battle Axes" in 1949 making the Indian Air Force the first Air Force in Asia to induct Fighter Jets in its inventory. Vampire served in almost all Fighter Squadrons of Indian Air Force for a span of over three decades as a Fighter-Bomber and Reconnaissance Aircraft.
Markings on the Indian Airforce Aircraft
After the Independence of India, the new marking scheme was adopted by Indian Airforce to differentiate it from Royal Airforce. These national markings were shown in roundels, consisting of Ashoka Chakra (wheel) on the wings and fuselage and a vertical tricolour flash on the fin. Many of the Aircraft were painted with these markings but soon replaced with Saffron White Green Roundels because these markings were challenging to paint with correct dimensions.
Inducted 140 Fighter Jets in a Year and a Half
Many people are not aware of the first Sukhoi to serve the Indian Airforce, which will be known for its extraordinary combat record, and the speed was Su-7s.
In the 1960s the Indian Airforce, owing to delays in the Marut program and diminishing squadron numbers. With the retirement of Mystere.IAF need Fighter-Bomber on an urgent basis. IAF selected the Su-7 in record time to fulfil the gap because of the diminishing squadron numbers. The incredible fact is that the Indian Indian Airforce inducted 140 Su-7s in just one and half years!! with the average induction rate of 8 fighters aircraft each month between March 1968 - September 1969. This was possible because of massive Military-Industrial complex of the Soviet Union at that time.
'Mammoth Formation': Largest Indian Aircraft Formation
The largest Indian Air Force Formation flew from Ambala Air Force Station on 1987-88 which was nicknamed the "Mammoth Formation". These aircraft consisted of Canberra Bomber Aircraft, Mig-25 "Garuda", Mig-29 "Baaz", Ajeet, Mirage 2000, Mig-27 "Bahadur", Hawker Hunter, Jaguar "Shamsher", Mig-23MF and finally the good-old Mig-21.
Strange looking Indian Air Force C-119G Flying Boxcar
Here is an Indian Air Force C-119G Flying Boxcar Military Transport Aircraft somewhere in the stages 1960s. If you closely notice this particular photo, the propellers are idle, and the engine has been put off. Now you must be wondering how is this particular aircraft flying.
This has been made possible only by its Orpheus Jet pod which has been placed on top of its fuselage. The aircraft is flying solely due to the power supplied by the pod as it was utilized by IAF to shorten the takeoff distance, thereby enabling the aircraft of Short Takeoff and Landing Capabilities. IAF also used the J34 turbojet engine for short takeoff, and IAF's C-119 also holds the record for being the first aircraft to take off from the Daulat Beg Oldi with an Orpheus Pod.
"Touch the Sky with Glory" from Bhagwat Geeta
The IAF's motto "Touch the Sky with Glory" is from the Bhagavad Gita, where it aims to destroy the enemies by using air power to defend the nation.
Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL)
HAL is a flagship aerospace company with 11 research and development centres, 20 production units with a workforce of more than 29,300. HAL is ranked in the 34 positions amongst the top 100 global aerospace industries. As on date, HAL has produced or overhauled more than 1,416 aircraft (of 17 types) of indigenous design, 2,097 aircraft (of 14 types) under license and a total of more than 5,015 aero engines.HAL has a huge contribution in strengthening of Indian Airforce.
Garud Commando: Longest Training duration
The IAF's special force unit 'The Garud Commando Force' was formed in 2004. The unit today has over 2,000 trained personnel who conduct the search, rescue and special operations. Garud Commandos go through a training process of a 72-week basic training course at Garud Training academy in Gurgaon. It is the longest training duration among all the Indian special forces but also includes basic training.
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