indian iaf


The Indian Air Force was established on 08 October 1932. In 1945 it was known as Royal Indian Air Force in recognition its services in Second World War. The World Royal was dropped in 1950, with its headquarter in New Delhi. It has strength of approximately one lakh, seventy thousand personnel and 1430 combat aircraft making it the fourth largest air force in the world.


Touch the sky with glory –“NABHA SPARSHAM DEEPTAM”


The important objective of IAF is to support ground troops by providing air cover and transporting man and essential commodities across the battle field.


Air Force has the following branches:-

  1. Flying branch
  2. Engineering-technical branch
  3. Ground duties branch
  4. Administration
  5. Logistics
  • Accounts
  1. Education
  2. Meteorological
  3. Medical and dental branch


Air Force has seven commands-

Western air command – New Delhi

Eastern air command – Shillong

Central air command – Allahabad

Southern air command – thiruvananthpuram

South Western command – Gandhinagar

Training command – Bangalore

Maintenance command – Nagpur

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal – Arup Raha

Aerospace command:

IAF is setting up aerospace command. It will have space technology including stat elite technologies including satellite available and it will be established by all the tree services- Army, Navy, Air Force and ISRO

Airbase and training establishment:

IAF has 60 airbases with more being planned.

Training centers for officers:

Air Force administrative college – Coimbatore

Air Force training academy – Hakim pet, Hyderabad

Air Force technical training centre – Bangalore and Chennai

Air Force technical training centre – Belgaon

IAF aircrafts:

It has strength of 1430 combat aircrafts. Most of the fighter jets are of French, Soviet/ Russia and British in origin.

Air space superiority aircrafts:

TH SUKHOI Su-30 (MKI : multifunctional commercial Indian)

Premier air superiority fighter

Twin seater, multirole fighter has a maximum sped of 2500 km/h

The aircraft, with one mid-air refueling, can go to a distance of 8000 km, making it an affective platform to deliver nuclear weapons.

Multirole combat aircrafts 

Mig-29, Mirage 2000 and Mig-21

Single-seater mirage 2000s and Mig-29s serve in both strike and defence squadrons. The mig-29 (fulcrum) has a top speed of 2445 km/h (Mach 2.3) capable of flying at 25000 km/h (Mach 2.3), the Mirage 2000-H is the IAF’s prime ground attack fighter het Mig-21 combat aircraft have been serving the IAF for the past two decades the air force plans to eventually replace its Mig-21s with the indigenously-built LCA HAL Tajas by about 2010.

Strike, attacks and offensive support aircrafts:

Squadrons of jaguar IS and Mig-27 aircraft service as the IAF’s primary ground strike force. The twin-engine Jaguar IB, with a top sped of Mach 1.3, s capable of carrying nuclear weapons, the single-seater Mig-27 carries one GSH-6-30 six-barreled 30 mm cannon, and various guided air to surface missile.

Reconnaissance aircrafts-UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles):

Various unmanned aircrafts are used for reconnaissance. The primary role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is to provide aerial surveillance and reconnaissance. UAVs can also be used as to target aircraft. HAL Lakshya, indigenously-developed pilotless target aircraft, was inducted into the IAF in July 2005. Israel has also bought a few of the Lakshya PTA. Another UAV, The HAL Nishant Remote Piloted Vehicle (RPV) has also been developed, with and endurance of over 3 hours. The UAV can be used for carrying out ground attack and aerial surveillance. Another smaller UAV known as the Kapothaka is also being developed by the Aeronautical development Agency. Drones are UAV’s which we will be getting from Israel by 2011.

Support helicopter

Mig-21, Kiran, Deepak (Hawk-Nov 2007), Sitara

The Indian Air Force currently operates around 300 Mig-21 aircraft. In 2003 IAF placed an order for 66 Hawk Mk-132 advanced Jet trainers in a deal worth over 1 billion GBP. The supply of these advanced trainer aircraft will begin from Nov 2007. India also manufacture less-sophisticated HAL HJT-16 Kiran and this aircraft will be replaced with the advanced HJT-32 Deepak for basic training.

Transport aircrafts:

AN-32, Gajraj-IL-72, Arvo, Boeing, IL-76


  1. Air to Air Missiles
  • Vympel R-60 (AA-8 Aphid)
  • Matra Magic 2
  • Matra Super 530
  • Vympel R-27 (AA-10 Alamos)
  • Vympel R-73 (AA-11 Archer)
  • Vympel R-77 (AA-12 Adder)
  • DRDO Astra- Under development.
  1. Air to SurfaceMissiles
  • Zvezda-Strela Kh-25 (AS-10 Karen)
  • Aerospatiale AS-30L
  • Hawker-Matra Martel Missile
  • Kolomna Machine Design Bureau 9K114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral)
  • Molniya design Bureau KH-29 (AS-14 Kedge)
  • Zveda Kh-31 (AS-17 Krypton)
  • BAe Sea Eagle
  • Raduga Kh-59 M (AS-18 Kazoo)
  • DRDO-NOP Mashinostroeyenia Brahmos – Air launched version under development
  1. Surface to Air Missiles
  • S-300
  • SA-3
  • SA-8
  • SA-16 Igla MANPAD System
  • Akash – Under Trails
  • Trishul – Limited production possible. Bulk the orders replaced by “Maitri” LLQRM (Low Level Quick Reaction missile) Joint Venture between DRDO and MBDA.
  • SPYDER (Python-5 and Derby Missiles)

The IAF has initiated the process to induct the Akash and Trishul surface-to-air missile developed as  a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The Indian Air Force will also introduce 18 SPYDER air defence system.

  1. Surface to Surface Missiles:
  • Agni-I (A-1)
  • Agni-II (A-2)
  • Agni-IIAT (A-2AT)
  • Agni-III
  • Agni-III
  • Agni-IV (Under Development)
  • SS-150/Prithvi-I
  • SS-250/Prithvi-II
  • SS-350/Prithi-III
  • Brahmos

G Force – also known as gravitational forces.

  • Acts on the aircraft and also on pilot
  • G force is of two types – Positive (+g) and negative (-g)
  • Positive or upward G acts when the aircraft is going up increases the weight of aircraft (+2g man twice the weight).

It also acts on the pilot. When he is going up it causes the blood of his body to flow downward to his feet. Thereby causing grey out/black out.

-Abdominal problem (belching, defection feeling).

Negative G – when the aircraft is coming downward. It causes the blood to flow to head. Thereby causing red out – capillaries in the eye will swell and burst – blindness, increased BP, headache, vertigo.


Excellence is the way of life in air force and it stands for the slogan-