12 Amazing Facts to Know About the IAF on This Indian Air Force Day

Recently, the Indian Air Force Day 2023 was celebrated on 8th October 2023. The day marks the formation of Royal Indian Air Force on 8 October, 1932.

Notably, in view of its professional efficiency and achievements during World War II, the force was honoured with the prefix ‘Royal’ in March 1945.

Thereby, it became the ‘Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).’

However, the Indian Air Force (IAF) dropped its ‘Royal’ prefix in 1950 after India gained independence in 1947.

This year to celebrate the day, IAF conducted its annual Air Force Day parade at Prayagraj.

The theme of IAF day this year is ‘IAF – Airpower Beyond Boundaries’, denoting the commitment of the force to excellence, innovation and its role as the guardian of the nation’s skies.

Here are the 12 amazing facts to know about the Indian Air Force on this Indian Air Force Day

  1. Indian Air Force was founded on 8th October 1932. Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force.
  2. IAF was earlier known as the ‘Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF)’. After India gained independence, the ‘RIAF’ was renamed the ‘Indian Air Force’, the word ‘Royal’ was dropped.
  3. It is the fourth (4th) largest air force in the world after the US, China, and Russia.
  4. It is also the seventh (7th) strongest Air Force in the world, better than Germany, Australia and Japan.
  5. At Present, IAF comprises of around 170,576 active personnel; 140,000 reserve personnel and 1926+ aircraft including helicopters approx.
  6. IAF has over 60 airbases spread all over India. These are grouped into seven (7) commands -Central Air Command, Eastern Air Command, Maintenance Command, South Western Air Command, Southern Air Command, Training Command, and Western Air Command. Amongst these the Western Air Command is the largest Air Command having 16 airbases.
  7. The Hindon Air Force Station located in Ghaziabad; UP is the largest in Asia. While, Siachen Glacier Air Force Station is the highest in the world at an elevation of 22,000 feet.
  8. The Indian Air Force functions with the motto “Nabham Sparsham Deeptham” which means “Touch the Sky with Glory”.
  9. The Indian Air Force has been engaged in four wars with Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China after Independence.
  10. The IAF is the ‘only air force ‘that operates C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Super Hercules, and Il-76 – the three largest transport aircraft.
  11. This year marks the 92nd celebration of Indian Air Force Day which was celebrated in Prayagaraj, Uttar Pradesh this year.
  12. This year, the theme of IAF day is ‘IAF – Airpower Beyond Boundaries’. The theme highlights the commitment of the force to excellence, innovation, and its role as the guardian of the nation’s skies.

Source: Various Open Sources