Indian armed forces are one of the strongest in the world. They have a history beyond what books and words can explain. One of Indian armed forces that is the most impressively fearful and powerful is the Indian Air Force. They have constantly proved their tenacity and determination in war and peacetime’s. They have put their lives on stake for the millions of country-people to live in peace.
In honour and gratitude for these armed-men, here are certain facts that we should know.
1. The Indian Air Force actually never directly engaged the Pakistani Air Force in 1947 war. It was a instrument of transport of troops for Indian army and air support.
2. The Indian Air force was technologically inferior to Pakistan in 1965. But IAF Gnats piloted by brave officers cut down Pakistani Sabres with such ferocity that the Gants came to known as ‘Sabre Slayers’.
3. India is building the 5th generation Sukhoi PAK FA in collaboration with Russia. It is one of the most lethal fighter jets in the world.
4. At its peak, IAF operated about 224 squardons. A squadron is an operational unit in an air force consisting of two or more flights of aircraft and the personnel required to fly them.
5. lying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon is the only IAF officer to have been honoured with the Param Vir Chakra. He was conferred the medal posthumously for his act of conspicuous gallantry in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
6. As per latest available data, the force has a 1,473 strong aircraft fleet, including trainers, transport aircraft and helicopters. According to 2016 stats, it is the fourth largest, professionally acclaimed, strategic Air Force in the world, with a total of 33 squadrons.
7. 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, and was also awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) for her conduct during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
8. With 16 air bases, the Western Air Command is the largest Air Command.
9. IAF has a base in a foreign country too. IAF has a base in Farkhor, Tajikistan, its only base outside India.
10. At 22,000 ft (or 6,706 m), Siachen Glacier Air Force Station is the highest Air Force Station of the IAF.
11. The IAF was referred to as Royal Indian Air Force from 1945 to 1950.
12. 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).