IAF, Leh

The Indian Air Force is one of the strongest air forces in the world. IAF was founded on October 8, 1932. Right now, it is the fourth largest air force in the world. The Indian Air Force has also proved its capabilities and powers in various wartime and peacetime missions. India is trying to make IAF world’s most powerful, and modern air force in the world.

11 Interesting and Mind Blowing Facts About Indian Air Force

1. Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon Only Officer Who Received Param Vir Chakra

Flying officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon is the only member of the Indian Air Force who received the highest military decoration, the Param Vir Chakra. Nobody in the Indian Air Force has since been awarded this honour.

Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon
Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. Once IAF operated about 224 squadrons

According to the latest available information and data, the IAF has a 1,473 strong aircraft fleet, which includes helicopters, trainers, and transport aircraft.

IAF Sukhoi
IAF Sukhoi, Image Source: The Indian Express

3. First Woman Air Marshal in the IAF

Padmavathy Bandopadhyay was the first woman air marshal in the Indian Air Force. She was the Director General Medical Services (Air) at the Air Headquarters.

Padmavathy Bandopadhyay
Padmavathy Bandopadhyay Image Source: indianbookofrecords.com

4. Arjan Singh Is The Only Marshal of the Indian Air Force

Marshal of the Indian Air Force is an honourary rank which is the highest achievable rank. Arjan Singh is the only officer from the IAF who have achieved this rank.

Arjan Singh
Arjan Singh, Image Source: 24indianews.com

5. IAF Has Over 60 Air Bases in India

The Indian Air Force has more than 60 air bases spread all over India, which are grouped into 7 commands.

6. Western Air Command Is The Largest Air Command

Out of all commands in India, Western Air Command is the largest air command in India, with 16 air bases.

7. IAF Was Not An Independent from the Indian Army

Before the independence, the Indian Air Force was controlled by the Indian Army. Due to the efforts of the 1st Commander-in-Chief of Indian Air Force, Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst, functioned as an independent service organization.

8. Indian Air Force in Tajikistan

It is one of the most interesting facts about India. The Indian Air Force maintains its base in Farkhor, Tajikistan, the first base outside India.

9. Highest Air Force Station of the IAF

Siachen Glacier is the highest air force station of the Indian Air Force. The station is located at the height of 22,000 ft (6,706 m). It is also one of the highest air force stations in the world.

10. Crucial Role of IAF in 1947 War With Pakistan

The Indian Air Force has played a crucial role in 1947 war with Pakistan. The IAF transported a lot of Indian Army soldiers to fight against the Pakistani Forces on the matter of Kashmir.

11. It Was Royal Indian Air Force from 1945 to 1950

The Indian Air Force was referred to as Royal Indian Air Force from 1945 to 1950. The word ‘Royal’ was dropped when India became a republic.

Article first published on May 11, 2016.

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