Air Chief Marshal of India

Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria is the present Air Chief Marshal and took over the office on September 30, 2019.

Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force of the world and was founded on October 8, 1932. The primary mission of the Indian Air Force is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflict.

The Chief of Air Staff is the highest rank in Indian Air Force and is equivalent to the post of Field marshal in the Army and Admiral of the Fleet in the Indian Navy.

Current Affairs - UPSC 2020

The “Chief of Air Marshal” was designated as Chief of Air Staff till 1966. The highest rank in India’s IAF is Marshal of the Air Force, which is conferred by the President of India only in exceptional circumstances.

There have been 26 Air Chief Marshal in the Indian Air Force to date.

This article enlists the Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force since 1947. This is an important topic for UPSC and is also relevant for other government exams.

List of Air Chief Marshal of India (1947- 2020)

Name Rank Tenure
Sir Thomas Elmhirst Air Marshal 15 August 1947 – 23 February 1950
Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman Air Chief Marshal 23 February 1950 – 9 December 1951
Gerald Gibbs Air Marshal 10 December 1951 – 31 March 1954
Subroto Mukerjee Air Marshal 1 April 1954 – 31 March 1955
Aspy Engineer Air Marshal 1 December 1960 – 31 July 1964
Arjan Singh Air Chief Marshal 1 August 1964 – 15 July 1969
Pratap Chandra Lal Air Chief Marshal 16 July 1969 – 15 January 1973
Om Prakash Mehra Air Chief Marshal 16 January 1973 – 31 January 1976
Hrushikesh Moolgavkar Air Chief Marshal 1 February 1976 – 30 August 1978
Idris Hasan Latif Air Chief Marshal 1 September 1978 – 30 August 1981
Dilbagh Singh Air Chief Marshal 1 September 1981 – 3 September 1984
Lakshman Madhav Katre Air Chief Marshal 3 September 1984 – 1 July 1985
Denis La Fontaine Air Chief Marshal 3 July 1985 – 31 July 1988
Surinder Mehra Air Chief Marshal 1 August 1988 – 31 July 1991
Nirmal Chandra Suri Air Chief Marshal 31 July 1991 – 31 July 1993
Swaroop Krishna Kaul Air Chief Marshal 1 August 1993 – 31 December 1995
Satish Sareen Air Chief Marshal 31 December 1995 – 31 December 1998
Anil Yashwant Tipnis Air Chief Marshal 31 December 1998 – 31 December 2001
Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy Air Chief Marshal 31 December 2001 – 31 December 2004
Shashindra Pal Tyagi Air Chief Marshal 31 December 2004 – 31 March 2007
Fali Homi Major Air Chief Marshal 31 March 2007 – 31 May 2009
Pradeep Vasant Naik Air Chief Marshal 31 May 2009 – 31 July 2011
Norman Anil Kumar Browne Air Chief Marshal 31 July 2011 – 31 December 2013
Arup Raha Air Chief Marshal 31 December 2013 – 31 December 2016
Birender Singh Dhanoa Air Chief Marshal 31 December 2016 – 30 September 2019
Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria Air Chief Marshal 30 September 2019 – Incumbent

Arjan Singh was conferred with the designation of Marshal of the Indian Air Force in 2002 by the President of India for his outstanding leadership during the Indo-Pak war of 1965.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Air Chief Marshal of India

Q 1. Who is the present Chief of Air Staff?

Ans. Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria is the present chief of Air Marshal. He took over the office on September 30, 2019.

Q 2. Who was the chief of Air Staff during the Kargil War?

Ans. Anil Yashwant Tipnis was the Air Chief Marshal during the Kargil War.

Q 3. Who is the current Vice Chief of Air Staff?

Ans. The Vice Chief of Air Staff is the second highest ranking officer of the Indian Air Force. The current Vice Chief of Air Staff is Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora.

Q 4. Who was the first Indian Chief of Air Staff?

Ans. Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee was the first Indian Chief of Air Staff. His tenure lasted for an year, starting from April 1, 1954, till March 31, 1955.

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