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Air Force

(Govt & Defence)

Career Overview

A Nation’s sovereignty and security largely depends on the strength of its Armed Forces. Armed Forces play a key role in protecting its nation and its people from external aggression and internal threats. Hence, a strong Armed Forces and its continuous growth is a KRA for any Government. Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of Republic of India and consists of three professional uniformed services: Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. These highly disciplined forces invite physically and mentally fit youths(both men and women) to take the challenges of protecting the nations in the most adverse conditions. The expectations from the Armed Forces aspirants are to be disciplined, active, assertive to stay tough and competitive.

What is Indian Air Force?

Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Indian Air Force was formed on 08th Oct 1932. Royal Indian Air Force as it was known as before India’s independence started as a tiny fleet with just four Westland Wapiti aircraft. Today, Indian Air Force is the fourth largest Air Force in the world with a highly technical and specialised fighting force that safeguards our skies against enemy invasions. The last decade of the twentieth century saw a phenomenal change in the structure of the Indian Air Force with induction of women into the Air Force for short service commissions. Recently, women officers are also inducted in fighter stream to take on the combat role.

What role does Air Force play?

Air Force plays an important role in both offensive and defensive air operations to protect the nation from any kind of aerial threat. The responsibility of Air Force encompasses to protect the country against external and internal threats, safeguard the public and private properties through constant air vigilance. Indian Air Force participates in Low Intensity Conflicts(LICO) to a full fledged war against nations who are a threat to Indian sovereignty. At the same time, Indian Air Force also participates in various humanitarian aids during natural calamities, search and rescue operations and delivery of relief supplies to civilian population.

Air Force personnel are engaged in multiple roles simultaneously from engaging an enemy aircraft in the air to performing some of the most adventurous activities like sky diving, Para gliding, mountaineering, and river rafting and so on. Air Force also provides ample opportunity for outstanding sportsmen to hone their skills and to participate in National and International events. Primarily, the entire Air Force structure is divided into three areas:-


  • Flying Fighter, Helicopters and Transport Aircraft
  • Air Traffic Controlling and Fighter Controlling
  • Missile operation
  • Radars
  • Search and Rescue Operation

Maintenance(Technical Support)

  • Repair and maintenance of Aircraft
  • Maintenance of IT & Communications
  • Maintenance of Large, Medium and small vehicles
  • Maintenance of Airfield


  • Management of Human Resources
  • Accounts
  • Logistics
  • Training and Development
  • Welfare Activities

Famous Personalities:

Air Marshal Arjan Singh:  Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh served as the Chief of the Air Staff from 1964 to 1969. For his service in 1965 war, he was awarded Padma Vibushan in 1966. In 1969, the post of Chief of Air Staff was upgraded to Air Chief Marshal and Air Marshal Arjan Singh was the first IAF officer to be honoured so. Later in 2002, he became the Marshal of the Indian Air Force till he expired on 16th Sep 2017.

Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee – First Indian to be the Chief of the Air Staff

Flying Officer Nirmaljeet Singh Sekhon – Param Vir Chakra

Why may you want to enter into Air Force?

Key Competencies Required

  • Effective Intelligence
  • Reasoning Ability
  • Power of Expression
  • Self Confidence
  • Determination
  • Organizing Ability
  • Initiative
  • Courage
  • Cooperation
  • Sense of Responsibility
  • Stamina
  • Group Influencing Ability
  • Liveliness
  • Social Adaptability
  • Speed of Decision

How can I get into this career?

Officer Level recruitment: Please note that Graduation can be in any stream for CDS Examination to qualify to get into Flying in Indian Air Force.

The most famous route to becoming an Air Force officer is completing 12th with PCM and applying for UPSC Exam to get enrolled in prestigious National Defence Academy, Pune. If you are not selected for NDA, you can apply through Combined Defence Service Exam after completing graduation in any stream/Engineering to get into the Flying branch of IAF. You can also apply through Air Force Common Admission Test(AFCAT) to get commissioned in Flying Branch as a Short Service Commissioned Officer to fly different kind of Fighter, Helicopter and Transport aircraft.

Airmen Recruitment:

There are several routes for Airmen selection. If you are a 12th PCM student, you can apply for Group X trades. After completing your B.Sc. (PCM) and B.Ed., you can apply for Group X teaching trades. If you are a graduate of Polytechnic colleges, you can again apply for Group X trades. If you are a 12th Arts student, then you can complete your BA and then B.Ed. to become eligible for group X education trades. If you are a PCB student in 12th, then you can apply for Group Y medical assistant trades. If you are from any stream, you can apply for group Y trades (Except medical and musician). If you are an only 10th pass but you can play a musical instrument, you can apply for Group Y, musician trade.

How much will it cost the student to get into this career?

The Government of India bears the total expense of training and development to become an Officer or Airman in Indian Air Force.

What additional benefits you will receive apart from Pay and Allowances?

  • Pensionary Benefits after retirement
  •  Free medical facilities for self and dependent family
  • Free accommodation
  • Loan Facilities at better interest rates
  • Education Facilities for children at subsidised rates
  • Recreational Facilities