India on Sunday celebrated its 85th Air Force day. Several aerial shows ranging from Akash Ganga (a 14 member sky diving team of the Indian Air Force) to other drills by air warriors like precision of rifle skills and Sarang helicopters making the inverted wine glass formation were displayed on the occasion at Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, who was present at the event said that Indian Air Force is to fight at short notice if the need arises. The Air Chief also informed that Air fighters resolve is to protect the sovereignty of our skies.

“I commend all the air warriors for an exception performance in their respective area of specialisation. On behalf of all the air warriors I take this opportunity to ensure the nation of our sacred resolve to the sovereignty of our skies and safeguarding our national interest,” Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said.  

The Indian Air Force, which was established on October 8, 1932, is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. The primary job of Indian Air Force is to safeguard the Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict. The Indian Air Force since 1950 has been involved in four different wars with Pakistan and one with China.

Brief history of major operations undertook and wars fought by Indian Air Force

  • In 1947, when India gained independence from British rule, the name Royal Indian Air Force was kept and served in the name of Dominion of India. However, after Indian goverment’s transition to a republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed.
  • Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. are among major tasks undertaken by India Air Force in the past.
  • Indian Air Force has also participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
  • The Indian Air Force executed its first air strike during Word War II and played a crucial role in halting the advance of the Japanese army in Burma.
  • After partition, Indian Air Force assets were divided between India and Pakistan.
  • In 1960, the Indian Air Force activated No. 5 Squadron, which was equipped with English Electric Canberra, to support the United Nations Operation in the Congo, when saw significant conflict in 1960, when Belgium’s 75-year rule over Congo ended abruptly and widespread violence was witnessed.
  • India’s military planners failed to deploy and effectively use the Indian Air Force was effectively used during the Sino-Indian War when India Army failed against Chinese forces.
  • In 1984 during  Operation Meghdoot to capture the Siachen Glacier, Indian Air Force’s Mi-8, Chetak and Cheetah helicopters airlifted hundreds of Indian troops to Siachen.
  • The Indian Air Force on May 11, 1999, backed the Indian Army during the ongoing Kargil war. The Indian Air Force strike was code named Operation Safed Sagar.
  • The Indian Air Force on August 10, 1999, intercepted a Pakistan Navy Breguet Atlantique which was flying over Sir Creek, a disputed territory using MiG-21s. The Pakistani aircraft was targeted where at least 16 Pakistani Navy personnel were killed.