The Indian Air Force (IAF; Devanāgarī: भारतीय वायु सेना, Bhartiya Vāyu Senā) is theair arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary re
nsibility is to secure
Indianairspace 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 Royalwas 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 Forceserved the Dominion 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 neighbouringPakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay - the invasion of Goa, OperationMeghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. 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 Arjan Singh, DFC has been conferred the rank of Marshal of the Air Force, a five-star rank and the officer serves as the ceremonial chief.
With a strength of approximately 170,000 personnel and 1,400+ aircraft.The Indian Air Force comprises one of the worlds largest air forces. In recent years, the IAF has undertaken an ambitious expansion and modernisation program to replace its aging Soviet-era fighter jets.