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Astonishing Facts About Indian Air Force

Astonishing Facts About Indian Air Force

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1. Astonishing Facts

1. Established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire. The prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. After India's independence, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Dominion of India, and finally the prefix "Royal" was dropped, when India became a republic in 1950.

2. India controls the highest battlefield in the world, the Siachen glacier, at 5000 metres above Mean Sea Level (MSL).

3. Ranks as the fourth best operational airforce in the world. It has a strength of 127,000 active personnel, more than 1,370 aircraft in active service, including around 700 fighters, 7 aerial refueling tanker aircrafts, 133 transport aircrafts, 158 trainer aircrafts, 33 attack helicopters, 156 transport helicopters, 155 utility helicopters, about 200 UAVs.

4. India has the biggest "voluntary" army in the world. All serving and reserve personnel have actually "opted" for service. There is a provision for conscription (forced recruitment) in the constitution, but it has never been used.

5. In the Battle of Longewala, on which the famous Bollywood movie "Border" is based, there were only two casualties on the Indian side.
The Battle of Longewala was fought in December 1971 between India and Pakistan, in which just 120 Indian Soldiers with 1 jeep mounted M40 recoilless rifle held the fort against 2000 Pakistani soldiers backed by 45 tanks and 1 mobile infantry brigade. Despite being heavily out-numbered, the Indian soldiers held their ground throughout the night and with the help of the Air Force, were able to completely rout the aggressors.

6. Operation Rahat (2013) was one of the biggest civilian rescue operations ever carried out in the world.
It was carried out by the Indian Air Force to evacuate civilians affected by the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013. It was the biggest civilian rescue operations in the world carried out by any Air Force using helicopters. During the first phase of the operation from 17 June 2013, the IAF airlifted a total of about 20,000 people; flying a total of 2,140 sorties and dropping a total of 3,82,400 kg of relief material and equipment.

7. The Indian Air Force has an out-station base in Tajikistan and is seeking another in Afghanistan.

8. The Indian Army built the highest bridge in the world, The Baily Bridge, in August 1982. It is located in the Ladakh valley between Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains.

9. The highest achievable rank in the air force is Marshal of the Indian Air Force. Arjan Singh is the only officer who has achieved this rank. Sachin Tendulkar is the first civilian (without any aviation background) who was awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by IAF. 

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