The Man Behind The Rafale Deal, Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria Appointed As The New Chief Of Indian Air Force

The Logical Indian Crew India

September 20th, 2019 / 12:25 PM

Image Credit: NDTV, Sakal Media

The current Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria will take over as the new Indian Air Force Chief next month after the retirement of Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, on 30th September 2019. 

Bhadauria was the deputy chief in India’s negotiations to strike the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal with France.

Commissioned into the fighter stream of Indian Air Force in June 1980, Bhadauria has held various commands, staff and instructional appointments at various levels including the present one as Vice Chief of Air Staff.

Apart from commanding the Jaguar Squadron and a major air force station on the south-western border, he has also been the commanding officer of the flight test squadron at the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment. This institute had conducted the initial flights of LCA Tejas, India’s first indigenous fighter aircraft.

Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria was among the first Indian Air Force officers to fly Rafale fighter jet.

He is considered to be one of the finest pilots in the IAF and has flown more than 27 fighter and transport aircraft so far. With 4250 hours of experience in flying 26 types of fighter and cargo aircraft, Bhadauria is a certified flying instructor, an attack instructor of CAT ‘A’ category and an experimental test pilot. 

Bhadauria is decorated with Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), the Vayu Sena Medal(VSM) and the Param Vishisht Seva Medal(PVSM). He was appointed honorary Aide De Campe(ADC) to the President of India in January.

Among various top positions in the IAF, Bhadauria was also the Commandant of the National Defense Academy (NDA), where he recieved ‘Sword of Honour’. He also served as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Air Force Headquarters at the Indian Embassy in Moscow.

The appointment of the new IAF chief announced by the defence ministry on Thursday comes three weeks ahead of the Air Force Day on 8 October.

Also Read: Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa Flies MiG-21 With Wg Cdr Abhinandan For One Last Time


Written by : Navya Singh

Edited by : Shweta Kothari

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