The Indian Air Force is celebrating its 88th anniversary today when it will showcase it prowess and put its mainstream fighter jets on display. A key highlight this year is the newly-inducted Rafale fighter aircraft that will be featured.
A grand parade-cum-investiture ceremony was held at the Air Force Station at Hindon near Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the ''brave warriors'' of the Indian Air Force (IAF). "Many congratulations to all the brave warriors of the Indian Air Force on Air Force Day. You not only keep the skies of the country safe but also play a leading role in the service of humanity in times of disaster. Your courage, valour and dedication to protect Maa Bharti inspire everyone," PM Modi tweeted in Hindi.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the country is "proud of its men and women in blue and salutes the prowess of the IAF as it stands ready to face challenges and deter adversaries".
The Nation is proud of its men and women in blue and salutes the prowess of the IAF as it stands ready to face challenges and deter adversaries. We remain committed to enhancement of IAF's combat capability through modernisation and indigenisation.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) October 8, 2020
"The recent induction of Rafale, Chinook and Apache aircraft significantly enhanced our combat capability over adversaries... We have clearly demonstrated our resolve, operational capability and will to effectively engage adversary should the need arise," Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said.
Five Rafale fighter jets were formally inducted into the IAF on September 10, in a major boost to India's air power capability at a time when the country has been engaged in a months-long tense standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
A full dress rehearsal was held on Tuesday at the Hindon air base. The Tejas LCA, Jaguar, Mig-29, Mig-21 and Sukhoi-30 aircraft were part of the rehearsal, besides the Rafale fighter jet, an IAF official said.
The Indian Air Force came into force in 1932 as the Royal Indian Air Force under then British rule. The name was changed to Indian Air Force in 1950.