File not found

Indian Air Force Day

Indian Air Force day is celebrated on 8th October every year. It was on this day that Indian Air Force was established in 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire. The British honored India's aviation service during World War II with the prefix Royal. Post independence in 1950 after the government’s transition into a Republic, the prefix Royal was removed.

Indian Air force ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world. The President of India is the Commander of the IAF.

Since 1950 IAF has been involved in four wars against Pakistan and one with People’s Republic of China. Other major operations executed by the IAF include Operation VijayOperation MeghdootOperation Cactus and Operation 


As of 2018 there are a total of 25 Active Indian Air Force Aircrafts in the Military factory. The Indian Air Force has both old and new aircraft platforms to cover a multitude of over- battlefield roles.

The Indian Air Force is the only operator of SEPECAT Jaguar in the world. Though, the existing fleets are undergoing the process of modernization to make them more viable for the coming years.

Here is a list of the strengths of IAF as of 2018.

Fighter aircraft

  • SU-30 MKI : It is a fighter plane of the Russian origin. The two seater twin engine multirole fighter carries One X 30mm GSH gun along with 8000 kg external armament. It is designed in a way that it can  carry a variety of medium-range guided air to air missiles with active or semi-active radar or Infra red homing close range missiles. The maximum speed of this aircraft is 2500 km/hr.
  • Mirage-2000: The fighter plane is a design developed by the French. It is a single seater air defense and multi-role fighter. Its single engine can reach a max speed of 2495 km/hr. It carries two 30 mm integral cannons and two matra super 530D medium-range along with two R-550 magic II close combat missiles on external stations.
  • MiG-29 : MiG-29 is one of the most advanced fighter plane the Indian Air Force has. It is of Russian origin and is single seater. It has two engines that are capable of attaining max. speed of 2445 km per hour. MiG- 29 has a combat ceiling of 17 km. It carries a 30 mm cannon, four R-60 close combat and two R-27 R medium range radar guided missiles.
  • MiG-27: This is an aircraft with single engine and one seat. It has its origin in Russia and has a max. speed of 1700 km/hr. It carries one 23 mm six-barrel rotary integral cannon and has the capacity of carrying up to 4000 kg of other armament externally.
  • MiG-21 BISON : This is a multirole fighter/ ground attack aircraft. It has single engine and is single seater.  This fighter scavenger is of Russian origin which forms the back-bone of the IAF. It has a max speed of 2230 km/hr and is loaded with one 23mm twin barrel cannon with four R-60 close combat missiles.
  • Jaguar: This is a twin-engine, single seater deep penetration strike aircraft. It is of Anglo-French origin and has a max. speed of 1350 km /hr. It carries two 30mm guns and can carry two R-350 Magic CCMs along with 4750 kg of external stores (bombs/fuel).

Helicopter Aircraft-

The IAF's helicopter fleet has rapidly increased, with the country’s development. In the 60’s The IAF had a handful of U.S. types but today we have over 500 French, Indian and Soviet built types. The most renowned and efficient one is the Mi-26 heavy lift helicopter which has shown outstanding results in the mountains of Northern India. Other than this there are around 200 Medium Lift Helicopters (MI-17/MI-17IV/MI-17V5 and Mi-8s) serving in helicopter units throughout the country. Medium Lift Helicopters of IAF are the lifeline of the IAF and serve multiple purposes for the nation such as commando assault tasks, carrying supplies and personnel to remote mountain helipads, performing SAR (Search and Rescue Operations) and logistic support tasks in the tough island territories, Siachen Glacier. And of course they are also known for their armed roles.

The Chetak/Cheetah helicopter fleet is the backbone in SAR, Casualty Evacuation and RTR (Route Transport Role) role during natural calamities, disasters and executing difficult operations. To enhance Cheetah helicopter operations in OP Meghdoot sectors, modified Cheetah have been installed in the fleet by the IAF. This indigenous helicopter has proved its worth and has shown better load carrying capacity.

  • MI-25/MI-35: It is a twin engine turboshaft, anti armor helicopter that has a capacity of carrying 8 men assault squad. In addition it carries four barrel 12.7 mm rotary gun in nose barbette and can take up to 1500 Kg of peripheral ordnance including Scorpion anti-tank missiles. This helicopter has a max cruise speed of 310 km/hr.
  • MI-26: It is a heavy lift helicopter of Russian origin. It has twin engine turboshaft with carrying capacity of 70 combat equipped troops or 20,000 kg payload. Its maximum speed is 295 km/hr.
  • MI-17 V5: The Mi-17 V5 is a powerful helicopter platform, operational with modern avionics and glass cockpit instrumentation. They have state-of-art navigational equipment, avionics, and weather radar and are NVG-compatible.
  • Chetak : This is a relatively compact but one of the most efficient helicopters of French origin in the IAF.  Single engine turboshaft, light utility helicopter with capacity of 6 people or 500 kg load. It has a max speed of 220 km/hr.
  • Cheetah: With a maximum speed of 121 Km/h this is a single engine turboshaft, FAC/casevac helicopter with a capacity to carry 3 passengers or 100 kg external sling loads. It can climb to 1 km in 4 minutes.


The rotary wing ability of the IAF is expected to undergo a huge transformation. Introduction of the Chinook helicopter in the fleet will be a boost to the country’s heavy heli-lift capability. The Apache Attack Helicopters will also be induced in the IAF that will be a great advancement in the technology and capability level of the rotary wing fleet of IAF. With such advancements IAF will be ready to take up any challenges.

For the first time, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has been successful in flying the home-made 5.8-tonne Light Combat Helicopter with an automatic flight control system for the first time.