20 Interesting Facts About The Indian Air Force That Everyone Should Know
1. Flying Officer Nirmaljeet Singh Sekhon is the only IAF officer to have been honoured with the Param Vir Chakra
He was awarded the PVC posthumously in the 1971 war.
2. The Air Force motto has been taken from Gita
The motto “नभःस्पृशं दीप्तम्” has been taken from the dialects of eleventh chapter of Gita and the meaning is “Touching the sky with glory”
3. The IAF Roundel has changed four times since 1933
1. The RAF roundel was used from 1933 to 1942 | 2. This roundel was used from 1942-1945 in the Burma Sector. The central red disc was removed to eliminate confusion with the Japanese Rising Sun Emblem. | 3. The Ashoka Chakra was an interim roundel used from Indian independence in 1947 till India became a republic (1947-1950). | 4. This roundel was adapted by the IAF after India became a republic in 1950 and is used to this day.
4. Indian Air Force Boasts of an airbase in foreign country
Farkhor Air Base is officially the base for Indian Air Force in Tajakistan and is strategically important as from here jets can reach Pakistan in matter of minutes.
5. Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian in space
On being asked how India looks from moon he replied “Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara”
6. IAF Garud
The Garud Commando Force which was formed in 2004 is a very elite force of IAF
7. Honouring India’s pride
Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar was granted the rank of Honorary Group captain in the IAF
8. The IAF was technologically inferior to the PAF in 1965
Even with this face Indian pilots fought with such ferocity using Gnats against the technologically better Sabres that Gnats came to be known as “Sabre Slayers”
9. The IAF is the fourth largest, professionally acclaimed, strategic Air Force in the world
10. The Air Force has over 60 air bases spread all over India
They are grouped into 7 different commands
11. With 16 air bases, the Western Air Command is the largest Air Command
The smallest command is Central Air Command with just 7 bases
12. The IAF engaged in conflict outside the country
In 1960, when Belgium’s 75-year rule over Congo ended abruptly IAF supported the UN mission at Congo
13. Highest Air Force Station is really high
At 22,000 ft (or 6,706 m), Siachen Glacier AFS is the highest Air Force Station of the IAF
14. IAF holds world records too
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)
15. The IAF’s primary air superiority fighter with the additional capability to conduct air-ground (strike) missions is Sukhoi Su-30MKI
16. Only Air Force to operate all the three largest transport aircrafts
The IAF is the only air force that operates IL-76, C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster – the three largest transport aircrafts.
17. Operation Rahat
IAF conducted the biggest relief mission to pull out citizens of India and 42 other nationalities out of war torn Yemen. The efforts of IAF were praised by CNN, BBC and other foreign news channels.
18. The IAF is known for its spectacular air display
19. Air Force Network
Indian Air Force has replaced the old communication with its own fully secure and reliable network and gigabyte digital information grid using modern tropo-scatter technology, popularly known as AFnet in 2010.
20. India is building the 5th generation Sukhoi PAK FA in collaboration with Russia
How many did you know before? Do tell us in comments below.