The Army Aviation Corps

The Army Aviation Corps (AAC) provides aerial assistance to the ground units of the Indian Army. It was first formed on November 1, 1986. The Army Aviation Corps is headed by a director-general with the rank of lieutenant general. The AAC is the youngest corps of the Indian Army. 

Army Aviation Corps was created with the main objective of contributing to the battlefield success by providing guidance to the field
Commanders in applying decisive combat powers.

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The candidates can read more relevant information from the links provided below:

Armed Forces Tribunal List of Indian Army Exercises & Joint Military Exercises
Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) Chief of Defence Staff
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History of the Army Aviation Corps 

  • The roots of the AAC can be traced back to the creation of the Army Aviation Wing of the Royal Air Force stationed in India during the height of World War II in 1942.
  • Initially, they functioned as artillery spotters by identifying and directing targets for them.
  • They played a crucial role during the 1964 and 1971 wars by providing close-air-support to ground units and identifying important targets by flying close to enemy lines.

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  • The Army Aviation Corps was created as a separate formation on November 1 in 1986. It is the youngest corps of the Indian Army. Upon its formation, the AAC saw its first action during the Indian Intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War. It provided aerial reconnaissance to the Indian Peacekeeping Forces, in the mostly jungle areas of Sri Lanka against Tamil Tigers.
  • The Corps was raised as a separate formation on November 1 in 1986. The AAC now draws its ranks from all the arms of the Army, including a significant number from the artillery formations.
  • Immediately after its formation, the units of the Corps saw action during Operation Pawan, where they helped the Indian Peacekeeping Forces in identifying key locations of the Tamil Tigers
  • Over the years, the Corps has grown by additions of new units, equipment and ground assets, and along with this, its roles and capabilities also have grown. The AAC draws its ranks from all the arms of the Indian Army.
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Functions and role  of the AAC

  • The AAC uses its helicopters for reconnaissance, casualty evacuation, supply drops, search and rescue. During peace times, AAC helicopters participate in Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

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  • The helicopters of the corps also act as aerial command posts should the situation ever arise.
  • In modern warfare, formations such as infantry, long and short0range artillery, armoured columns and Army helicopters work in sync with each other. To plan an effective battle plan, data and intelligence is gathered by orbiting satellites and airborne reconnaissance units. Helicopters are one such unit, as their mobility and dexterity can gather information at the required pace. With technology evolving over time, these helicopters will prove to be a valuable asset in the years to come.

The following aircraft are currently operated by the Army Aviation corps:

  1. HAL Dhruv
  2. HAL Chetak
  3. HAL Cheetah
  4. Boeing AH-64 Apache Helicopter

Future Plans of the Army Aviation Corps

  • In 2012, the army was evaluating helicopters from Kamov, Eurocopter and AgustaWestland for its light-helicopter contract. The $750 million contracts for the 197 helicopters intended to replace its 1970s Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. 
  • The one who would win the bid would provide 60 helicopters in operating condition; the remaining 137 helicopters would be manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. (HAL)
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is one of the Navratna Companies. Find the list of Navratna Companies in India in the linked article.
  • The Indian Army is going to acquire HAL Light Combat Helicopters, currently under development, to meet its requirement for a high altitude anti-armour and anti-infantry helicopter. A single-engine HAL Light Utility Helicopter would be used for reconnaissance purposes.

Indian Army Aviation Corps – UPSC Notes – Download PDF Here

UPSC 2021

Frequently Asked Questions on Army Aviation Corps (AAC)


Q 1. What is the work of the Army Aviation Corps?

Ans. The Army Aviation Corps perform combat search and rescue (CSAR), transportation of military prisoners, provide their helicopters for evacuation requirements, and assist during natural disasters or wars.

Q 2. When was AAC formed?

Ans. The Army Aviation Corps was created as a separate formation on November 1, 1986. However, its roots can be traced back to the time of World War II in 1942 when the Army Aviation Wing of the Royal Air Force was created and stationed in India.

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