The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. It protects and secures the Indian airspace and conducts air warfare during a war. It is the youngest arm of the Indian Armed Forces. It was established by the British Empire on 8 October 1932, as an auxiliary of the Royal (British) Air Force. On 01 April 1933 the Air Force commissioned its first squadron, No 1 squadron with four Westland Wapiti biplanes and five Indian Pilots.

King George VI conferred the prefix Royal to the Air Force, in 1945, in recognition of its services during World War II. It remained Royal Indian Air Force until India became a republic in 1950. When India became a republic in 1950, the prefix of Royal was dropped and it was renamed as Indian Air Force.

Mission of Indian Air Force

  • The Primary objective of IAF is to defend the nation and its airspace against Air threats in coordination with Army and Navy.

  • The secondary purpose is to assist civil power during natural calamities and internal disturbances.

  • The IAF provides close air support to the Indian Army troops in the battlefield and also provides strategic and tactical airlift capabilities.

  • IAF also provides strategic air lift or secondary Airlift for the Indian Army.

  • The IAF also operates the Integrated Space Cell together with the other two branches of the Indian Armed Forces, the Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

  • Rescue of civilians during natural disasters.

  • Evacuation of Indian nationals from foreign countries in case of instability or other problems.

  • VVIP transport for official visits abroad.

Aid to Civil Authorities

The Transport Squadrons and helicopter units play a significant role during peacetime. They always provide help when needed. Some of the tasks they will perform are:

  • Flood relief and casualty evacuation.
  • Flood relief operations to airlift relief materials and passengers.
  • Helicopter units render services for casualty evacuation during calamities.
  • Cyclone relief and earthquake relief.