Indian Air Force turns 87-today Rajnath Singh to receive Rafale in France
KI Singh/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
Indian Air Force (IAF) -the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces turns 87 today. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire which honoured India’s aviation service during World War II with the prefix Royal. After India gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the name Royal Indian Air Force was kept and served in the name of Dominion of India. With the government’s transition to a Republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed after only three years.
In his speech on Air Force Day, IAF chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria talks about how the IAF has demonstrated its resolve and capability in tackling the issue of terrorism in a rapidly changing geo-political environment. ” Indian Air Force is grateful for nation’s trust and confidence in us, and the support provided. On behalf of all air warriors, I assure the nation of our sacred resolve, defending the sovereignty of our skies and safeguarding our national interest at all cost,” he says.
On the IAF’s preparedness to handle operations, the chief said that the air forces are always ready to provide relief and carry out rescue operations at times of contingencies as all organs of IAF ‘work with synergy’. “It is our duty to remain combat worthy,” he says, adding that there is a need to focus on indigenous design and manufacture.
Today Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh will participate in the Rafale fighter aircraft handing over ceremony at Merignac along with French Minister of Armed Forces Ms Florence Parly. He will also perform the Shastra Puja on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami and fly a sortie in the Rafale fighter aircraft.
IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who became the face of military confrontations between India and Pakistan after Pulwama attacks, flies MiG Bison Aircraft over the Air Force Day parade today at Hindon Air Base in Ghaziabad. Not just him but all the pilots who took part in Balakot air strikes have been included in the parade as a mark of tribute to the teams which carried out the strike on February 26.
Sachin Tendulkar was the first sportsperson and the first civilian without an aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of group captain by the Indian Air Force.