Indian Airforce Company Profile
The Indian Air Force (IAF; Devan?gar?: ?????? ???? ????, Bhartiya V?yu Sen?) is the air arm of the armed forces of India. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict. It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the Indian Empire and the prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. After India achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Union of India, with the prefix being dropped when India became a republic in 1950.
Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighboring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Cactus. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff, an Air Chief Marshal (ACM), is a four star commander and commands the Air Force. There is never more than one serving ACM at any given time in the IAF. One officer has been conferred the rank of Marshal of the Air Force, a 5-star rank and the officer serves as the ceremonial chief.
With strength of approximately 170,000 personnel and 1,399+ aircraft, the Indian Air Force is the world's fourth largest. In recent years, the IAF has undertaken an ambitious expansion and modernisation program to replace its aging Soviet-era fighter jets. Among the various expansion plans is the MRCA program under which the IAF plans to induct 126 fighter jets at a cost of US$12 billion.
The IAF has a strength of 170,000 personnel. Its rank structure is based on that of the Royal Air Force. The highest rank attainable in the IAF is Marshal of the Indian Air Force, conferred by the President of India after exceptional service during wartime. MIAF Arjan Singh is the only officer to have achieved this rank. The head of the Indian Air Force is the Chief of the Air Staff, who holds the rank of Air Chief Marshal. The current Chief of the Air Staff is Air Chief Marshal P.V.Naik, appointed on 1 May 2009, following the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major.
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