Indian Air Force (IAF) plays a major role in securing our country aerially. On 8 October 1932, IAF started in India. The first Indian Chief of Air Staff is Marshal Subroto Mukherjee. He is also one of the founding members of the Air Force. It fights against terrorist attacks and also during warfare. IAF is in fourth rank all over the world in air force. This was very effective and deadly during wars. The motto of the IAF is touch the sky with Glory, selected from twelfth chapter of our Hindu scripture, Bhagavad Gita.
How Air Force Developed?
The cargo ships containing oil and other products were securely transferred from one country to another country across oceans. During early days, they were secured by fighter jets for some distance and the rest of the distance with warships. Even though the warships were not as effective as aircrafts in those days, they were used for security purposes. This is because fighter jets cannot carry enough fuel for the journey, but warships can do it very easily. Now every Navy warship has a fighter jet or a helicopter.
Faster than the speed of sound
Unlike earlier fighter jets with moderate speed, today fighter jets can move faster than the speed of sound. mach 1 is the speed which is faster than the speed of sound and it is approximately 1,225 km/h. The fighter jet moving at speed beyond mach 1 is going supersonic. In some cases, there are chances of sonic boom occurrence, when it moves at sea level with temperature of 20 0 C.
Early weapon system includes explosives, which has to be dropped from sky on a particular target. And they also had machine guns, which needs a person to operate it. But now fighter jets are using missiles, which use the same propulsion and thrust system for launching. The fighter jets can lock the target and blast them with the missile. The missile will hit the target even if the target is moving. The range of the missile is up to a few miles. And they also carry automated machine guns.
Earlier, it would be very difficult for targeted jet to escape from air to air strike. They didn’t have any defence system in them to diverge the enemy strike.But now, with increasing effectiveness of weapons, fighter jets are using defence mechanism. Now, the locked fighter jets can survive by deploying flares. The missile will lock down its target by detecting engine heat. When the jet deploys these decoy flares, which are hotter than engines, the missile will hit these flares.
Some Fighter Air Crafts in IAF inventory
this is one of the 4.5th generation aircraft. This aircraft can travel with the speed up to 1.8 mach, which is almost double the speed of sound. It has multi role capability, which includes electronic warfare, air defence, land security etc. As of now, Rafale is the most advanced aircraft in Indian Air Force. China’s J20 Chengdu jets are of 5th generation. But these aircrafts don’t have any experience in wars and Rafale is used by French Air Force for their missions and it was found effective.
It consists of 14 storage compartments for weapons. Rafale also has a meteor air to air missile, which has BVR (Beyond Visual Range), with a range beyond 100 km. It also comes with an air to ground missile called SCALP with a range of 300 km. And India also seeked a HAMMER which is for air to ground attack, usually for bunker type, which is of 70 km range.
Sukhoi Design Bureau and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) jointly developed this fighter jet. In 1995, the development of these jets started in India. Currently 268 of these fleets are there in IAF out of 272 which was built, including around nine crashed fleets. The speed of the flight is around 2,120 km/h.
Baaz (hindi word for hawk) is the another name for Mikoyan MiG-29. This is in secondary line air defence after Sukhoi Su-30MKI. This was designed in soviet union with twin engines (i.e, it consists 2 working engines). If there was a problem with one engine, this jet can be operated and land with the other engine safely, making it safer than others. 69 of these jets are there, all of which are upgraded to MiG-29UPG standards and 21 additional jets have been ordered.
Dassault Mirage 2000
One more name for this aircraft is Vajra(Sanskrit word for diamond). This jet is fourth generation and manufactured by Dassault Aviation. Currently there are 49 Mirage 2000Hs and Mirage 2000TH in Indian Air Force and all of them were upgraded to Mirage 2000-5 MK2.
Aeronautical Development Agency in collaboration with HAL and ARDC built this fourth generation aircraft. IAF had planned for a total of 324 Tejas in different variants. This flight travels at a speed of 2,205 km/hr.
IAF also contains SEPECAT Jaguar and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 in its inventory of multi role aircrafts.