October 8th is observed as Indian Air Force Day, because on this day in the year 1932 it was established as an assistant air force of the British Empire which applauded India’s aviation service during World War II with the prefix “Royal”. The Air Force in India came to be called the Royal Indian Air Force in the mid-1940s. However, in 1950, with the government’s conversion to a republic, the prefix “Royal” was removed.
Since 1950, IAF has been involved in four wars with its neighboring country Pakistan and the other with the People’s Republic of China. Four major operations undertaken by IAF are, Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus, and Operation Poomalai.
IAF, during World War II, played an instrumental role in halting the advance of the Japanese army in Burma, where the first IAF air strike was executed. Their target for their first-ever mission was the Japanese military base in Arakan. IAF experienced a phase of steady expansion during the war.
On 11th May was called to provide close air support to the Indian Army at the height of the ongoing Kargil conflict with the use of helicopters. The particular strike was code-named as Operation Safed Sagar by IAF, the first strikes were launched on 26th May when the IAF struck infiltrator positions with fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships. At the height of the conflict, the IAF conducted over forty sorties daily over the Kargil region, by 26 July, the Indian forces had successfully fought back the Pakistani forces from Kargil.
IAF commemorates its 88th foundation day
As the IAF celebrated its 88th anniversary this year commemoration was marked by a flypast by a host of aircraft and choppers, that involved the newly inducted Rafael fighter jets. On the occasion of Air Force Day, the
President, today, tweeted, “On Air Force Day, we proudly honor our air warriors, veterans and the families of Indian Air Force.”
President Ram Nath Kovind added to the ongoing process of modernization with the induction of Rafale, Apache and Chinook will transform the Indian Air Force into an even more formidable strategic force.