Indian Air Force celebrates its 88th anniversary
Hindon: Speaking at the 88th Indian Air Force day parade, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria assured the country that the IAF will evolve and be ever ready to safeguard India’s sovereignty and interests.
“I commend all air warriors for a quick response in the recent standoff on the northern frontiers, when we deployed our combat assets at short notice to handle any eventuality and provided proactive support to all requirements of deployment and sustenance for the Indian Army. We have clearly demonstrated our resolve, our operational capability and the will to effectively engage the adversary, should the need arise,” he said.
Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria added that the emerging security scenario mandated a greater need to have a strong air force, which would fight across the entire spectrum of the warfare. He further spoke about the IAF’s vision for the decade which was to continue to ‘comprehensively’ scale up combat capability and be a ‘force to reckon with’ across the entire sphere of influence by the way of careful structuring of the force, modernisation, operational training and acquisition of indigenous equipment.
He mentioned that the recent inductions such as Rafale, Apaches and Chinook are an addition to the IAF’s combat capability and the upgrades of existing aircraft with weapon systems and sensors have also further enhanced capabilities.
The Air Chief said that the IAF, as it entered the 89th year, was undergoing a transformational change. The air force was entering an era which would redefine where we employ aerospace power and conduct integrated multi-domain operations. He also lauded the ‘tenacity and resolve’ undertaken by air warriors during the pandemic.
Before the speech, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria inspected the IAF Day parade carried out by the IAF personnel and presented gallantry awards. Nishan Toli led by Squadron leader Shivangi Rajawat marched past at the Hindon Air Force Station. The speech was followed by a fly-past. The event commenced with Akash Ganga skydiving team’s performance.
The ‘Made in India’ touch was evident at the fly-past as Indian aircraft such as Rudra-ALH Mk IV, Sarang ALH, LCA Tejas and Dornier took to the skies. Other aircraft included Rafale, Chinook, Apache, Su-30 MKI, C17, C130J, MiG-29, Mi17 V5, Mi-35, Douglas Dakota, Jaguar, Bison and Jaguar.
After their induction into the IAF, Rafale aircraft made its first appearance on the IAF’s full dress rehearsal day and then on the following day, which was the IAF Day. Explaining the capabilities of Rafale, the IAF’s official handle had tweeted that the Rafale is a 4.5 generation, twin-engine which boasts of air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship and nuclear deterrence fighter aircraft, equipped with a wide range of weapons. The Rafale are operating in Ladakh amidst the India-China tensions.
The IAF’s Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) carried out the fly-past with different formations consisting nine aircraft. The Sarang helicopter display performed different formations. The IAF’s vintage aircraft Tigermoth also flew past.
The event was attended by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane.
The IAF celebrates the IAF day every year to mark its establishment in 1932. The IAF has been a remarkable force in not just the security related operations but also during natural disasters within the country and outside too. The IAF has been at the forefront of sustaining the troops of the Indian Army stationed in Eastern Ladakh by flying in necessities such as food, clothes and construction material in winters when the roads get blocked due to snow. The IAF also transports relief material to the locals in Ladakh.