As the Indian Air Force completes 88 years of illustrious service and we cherish our glorious past, we are also preparing for an exciting and challenging future. Air Force Day is celebrated to mark the inception of IAF and to honour the courage, bravery and valour of our Air Warriors, past and present. We pay tribute to our brave Air Warriors who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. On this day we rededicate ourselves to the service of our nation and take a pledge to take IAF to greater heights.
In the past year we have witnessed contingencies as varied as the COVID-19 pandemic to the military face off along the LAC. Our transport and helicopter aircraft provided 24 x 7 support for COVID-19 tasks while the combat units remained on high alert to deter any adverse situation along our land borders. The routine Air Maintenance efforts for the Indian Army, PARA-military organisations and civil agencies, in these uniquely stressful times and in some of the most challenging terrains and weather conditions, has been noteworthy. I commend all Air Warriors on their indomitable courage in executing their duties even while the invisible threat of the novel Corona Virus dominated the environment.
The Indian Air Force has recently acquired a host of multi-spectrum strategic capabilities, synonymous with India’s growing regional stature and expanding national interests. These and future inductions and up-gradations will significantly enhance the offensive capabilities of IAF. Our years of persistence on self-reliance in defence manufacturing have today given us alternatives to imported defence equipment. Fighter Aircraft, Helicopters, Radars, Surface to Air Weapon Systems, Air to Air Missiles, Network Systems and a host of weapons manufactured in India have significant indigenous content.
We are proactively interacting with the academia and the private sector to further encourage indigenous development of military grade equipment.
In light of the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbharta’ and the existing threat environment, IAF has adopted the theme of “Innovate, Integrate & Intimidate” for the 88th Air Force Day. The theme will direct our efforts with rejuvenated resolve to enhance IAF’s operational capability. I am confident that our collective capacity to achieve excellence and our commitment will take IAF to even greater heights.
On behalf of all air warriors of the Indian Air Force, I convey my best wishes to SP’s Aviation team for the special issue on the Air Force Day and wish them success in all their future endeavours.