Indian Air Force Current Affairs

86th Air Force Day observed

86th Indian Air Force (IAF) day was celebrated on 8 October 2018 to commemorate its official foundation day of the force. The celebration of day seeks to increase the awareness about the importance of IAF as an important part of the national security. It also seeks to pay rich tribute to untiring efforts and supreme sacrifice made by air force veterans

Indian Air Force (IAF)

IAF is the world’s fourth largest air force (after US, Russia and China) with primary responsibility to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during conflict. It was officially established on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire and the prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. After India became independent from the United Kingdom (UK) in 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force served Dominion of India, with prefix being dropped when India became republic in 1950. Since then, IAF has played pivotal roles in various operations and wars such as World War II, Operation Cactus, Sino-Indian War, Operation Vijay, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Kargil War, Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Congo Crisis, Operation Poomalai and Operation Pawan. Air Force Day was officially celebrated for the first time on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force of Indian Empire.

Month: Categories: Defence Current Affairs 2018

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First wet mid-air refuelling of LCA Tejas successfully carried out using IL-78 MKI tanker

Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully carried out first ever mid-air refuelling of indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK-1 over Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. With this, India joins in elite group of countries which have successfully developed air-to-air refuelling system for military aircraft.

LCA Tejas mid-air refuelling

It was first wet mid-air refuelling of LCA Tejas (LSP8) carried out by transferring 1,900 kg of fuel from IAF’s Russian-origin Ilyushin-78 (IL-78) tanker at altitude of 20,000 feet. This operation had refueled all internal tanks and drop tanks of LCA Tejas.

Before this wet contact trial, IAF had successfully conducted ‘dry-air refuelling contact trials’ where drogue (basket) extended from tanker aircraft IL-78 by fuel hose, which was only tracked and plugged into using LCA’s Tejas’ refuelling probe without transfering fuel.

Significance

With this first trial of air-to-air refueling, LCA gets much closer to important battle-ready tag, called final operational clearance (FOC). Besides, air-to-air refuelling capability for LCA will be force multiplier for IAF as it enhances potential of aircraft to stay airborne for much longer periods of time, thus increasing its range and endurance. It will also enable IAF options to exploit operational potential of LCA as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stop or stage through several locations enroute.

Background

IAF currently operates nine LC Tejas fighters built to Initial Operating Clearance (IOC) standard built indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited. These jets are being flown by No. 45 Squadron named Flying Daggers (It is first LCA Tejas Squadron) based at Sulur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu. IAF has placed ordered of 123 LCA Tejas variants at cost of Rs 70, 000 crores to Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). Among the 123 planes on order, 20 each are in IOC and more advanced final operational clearance (FOC) configurations, while remaining 83 are in Mk-1A configuration that comes with additional improvements

Month: Categories: Defence Current Affairs 2018

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