The Indian Air Force (IAF), also known as Bharatiya Vayu Sena is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its key role is to keep the Indian air space immune to attacks and manage the Aerial warfare during conflict. Established on 8 October 1932, it then possessed strength of 25 soldiers of which 19 were air soldiers. Ever since then, it went through extreme modernisation and expansion, both in strength of man and technology.
Here are some facts about the IAF you may not have known:
1.With around 1,70,000 personnel and 1,500 aircrafts, it is the fourth largest Air Force in the world after US, China and Russia.
2.It is also the seventh strongest Air Force in the world, better than Germany, Australia and Japan.
3.The IAF flag, adopted in 1951, is blue in colour, containing the National Flag in the first quadrant and a roundel of the colours of the National Flag.
4.Its crest is considered to be of great historical and sentimental value and is approved by the President of India.
5.Its motto “Nabha Sparsham Deeptham” is taken from the eleventh chapter of the Gita. The way Lord Krishna shows his supreme divine form to Arjuna, in a similar way, the Indian Air Force aims to overwhelm the adversaries with application of aerospace power in defence of the nation.
6.It has its own museum based in New Delhi. The museum is known for its rich collection of memorabilia of Indian Military Aviation and displays the history of the Indian Air Force.
7.Arjan Singh holds the rank as an Indian Air Force Marshall. In recognition of his services he was awarded a ‘Five Star’ rank in the year 2002.
8.The chief of the Indian Air Force is Marshal Arup Raha and was commissioned the position in December 1974.
9.Mirage 2000, a French origin single seated seated air defence and multi-purpose fighter which is powered by a single engine which can attain maximum speed of 2495 km/hr. On external stations, it carries two 30mm integral cannons and two Matra Super 530D medium-range and two R-550 magic ll close combat missiles.
10.From October 1, 1993 to December 21, 1994, the IAF took part in peacekeeping duties in Somalian as part of the Indian contingent supporting UN operations.
It has been around eight decades that the Indian Air Force has been shielding the country and its people. The IAF has the core purpose of safeguarding Indian territory and national interests from all threats in connection with the other branches of the armed forces by protecting Indian airspace.