The Indian Air Force (IAF), commonly known as the Bharatiya Vayu Sena, was founded on October 8, 1932, with 25 men, 19 of which were combat pilots. Since then, the Air Force has seen extensive modernisation and expansion, both in terms of workforce and technological capabilities. After the United States, China, and Russia, it is the world's fourth-largest air force, with over 1,70,000 troops and 1,500 aircraft.
It also has the world's seventh-best air force, outperforming Germany, Australia, and Japan. Every year on October 8, the country celebrates Indian Air Force Day (IAF) to raise awareness around the world about IAF as an organisation working towards strengthening national security.
The Indian Air Force has been protecting the country and its people for almost eight decades. Its primary mission is to protect Indian Territory and national interests from all threats posed by other armed forces and safeguarding Indian aerospace.
The Indian Air Force: Facts And Figures
The Air Force also provides climate relief. It assisted with relief work during natural disasters such as the storm in Gujarat in 1998, in 2004 the tsunami, and floods in North India. During the Uttarakhand flash floods, the IAF set a global record by rescuing civilians in "Rahaat" Misson. Around 20,000 people were airlifted.
IAF personnel have also participated in humanitarian operations such as Operation Rainbow in Sri Lanka.
The AIF set a new world record when it landed a C-130J at the height of 16614 feet at the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in Ladakh.
The Indian Air Force's motto is drawn from Gita's eleventh chapter. The Lord is exhibiting Arjuna His Supreme Divine form, and the Lord's enormous form is reaching for the sky with splendour, creating terror and a loss of self-control in Arjuna's thoughts. Similarly, the Indian Air Force strives to overwhelm adversaries by employing aerospace strength in national defence.
The Indian Aircraft Carrier-1 (IAC-1) is the country's first indigenous aircraft carrier. The carrier, dubbed INS Vikrant, is expected to join the Navy in 2022.