The Air Force of India (Devanagari: भारतीय वायु सेना Last: Bhartiya Vāyu Sena) is the branch of the Indian Armed Forces with the primary responsibility of conducting aerial warfare and maintaining security of Indian airspace. It was created in 1932, such as the Indian Air Force covered the British India. He was awarded the prefix " Royal "in 1945. In recognition of his services during the WWII. The Air Force was partitioned between the new and independent India and the Pakistan in 1947. The prefix Royal was dropped after India became a Republic in 1950. Headquartered in New Delhi, The Indian Air Force has a strength of about 170,000 people and 768 combat aircraft making it the fourth largest air force in the world, behind the United States, Russia and China.
Since 1950, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. The IAF's mission expands beyond engagement with hostile forces, with the IAF participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The President of India holds the rank of Supreme Commander of the IAF. As of 1 July 2017, 139,576 personnel are in service with the Indian Air Force. The Chief of Air Staff, an air chief marshal, is a four-star officer and is responsible for the bulk of operational command of the Air Force. There is never more than one serving ACM at any given time in the IAF. The rank of Marshal of the Air Force has been conferred by the President of India on one occasion in history, to Arjan Singh. On 26 January 2002, Singh became the first and so far, only five-star rank officer of the IAF.
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