Chiefs Of Air Staff: India

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INDIA 2012

A REFERENCE ANNUAL

Compiled by

RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION

PUBLICATIONS DIVISION

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

Chiefs Of Air Staff: India

Name Tenure

Air Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst ................................... 15 August 1947-21 February 1950

Air Marshal Sir Ronald Chapman .................................. 22 February 1950-9 December 1951

Air Marshal Sir Gerald Gibbs .......................................... 10 December 1951-31 March 1954

Air Marshal S. Mukherjee ................................................ 1 April 1954-8 November 1960

Air Marshal A.M. Engineer .............................................. 1 December 1960-31 July 1964

Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh ........................................ 1 August 1964-15 July 1969

Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal ............................................... 16 July 1969-15 January 1973

Air Chief Marshal O.P. Mehra ......................................... 16 January 1973-31 January 1976

Air Chief Marshal H. Moolgavkar .................................. 1 February 1976-31 August 1978

Air Chief Marshal I.H. Latif ............................................. 1 September 1978-31 August 1981

Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh ................................... 1 September 1981-4 September 1984

Air Chief Marshal L.M. Katre .......................................... 5 September 1984-1 July 1985

Air Chief Marshal D.A. La Fontaine .............................. 3 July 1985-31 July 1988

Air Chief Marshal S.K. Mehra ......................................... 1 August 1988-31 July 1991

Air Chief Marshal N.C. Suri ............................................ 1 August 1991-31 July 1993

Air Chief Marshal S.K. Kaul ............................................ 1 August 1993-31 December 1995

Air Chief Marshal S.K. Sareen ......................................... 1 January 1996-31 December 1998

Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis .......................................... 1 January 1999-31 December 2001

Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamys ............................ 31 December 2001-31 December 2004

Air Chief Marshal S. P. Tyagi ........................................... 31 December 2004-31 March 2007

Air Chief Marshal M.F. (Fali Homi) Major................................. 31 March 2007-31 August 2009

Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik ....................... 1 June 2009-31 July 2011

Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne ..............31 July 2011- 31 December 2013

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha 31 December 2013- 31 December 2016

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa 31 December 2016- September 30, 2019

Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria September 30, 2019

YEAR-WISE DEVELOPMENTS

2019: Bhadauria named IAF chief days before retirement

Rajat Pandit, Bhadauria named IAF chief days before retirement, September 20, 2019: The Times of India


Former Tejas Test Pilot Will Now Get Two-Year Term

Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, who flew indigenous Tejas fighter prototypes as a young test pilot and later led the commercial negotiations for the French Rafale jets as the deputy chief, will be the 26th chief of the Indian Air Force.

The government announced that Bhadauria, the vice-chief at present, will succeed Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa when he retires on September 30. Bhadauria, who has over 4,250 hours of flying experience on 26 types of fighters and transport aircraft, was initially not in the reckoning since he was also slated to superannuate on September 30 upon turning 60. But now, he will have a two-year tenure at the IAF’s helm because a military chief can serve up to the age of 62 or for three years, whichever is earlier.


‘Bhadauria name wasn’t initially sent to PMO’

Air Marshals, like lieutenant generals in the Army and vice-admirals in the Navy, retire at 60.

Sources said Bhadauria’s name was not part of the file initially sent to the PMO, with the Southern Command chief, Air Marshal Balakrishnan Suresh, and the Western Command chief, Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, being considered as the contenders.

“But the PMO later summoned the records of Bhadauria. There is a precedent. In 1991, then IAF vice-chief N C Suri succeeded S K Mehra as the chief, though both were retiring on July 31,” said a source. The government has firmly cast aside the seniority principle in the hierarchy-conscious armed forces by appointing Gen Bipin Rawat as Army chief in December 2016 and Admiral Karmabir Singh as Navy chief in May by superseding officers senior to them. The government contends merit will be considered in “deep selection” of top military officers, as reported by TOI earlier.

Bhadauria, who won the coveted “sword of honour” at the National Defence Academy, is senior to the other Air Marshals who were in the zone of consideration. He was commissioned in the fighter stream of the IAF in June 1980. Bhadauria also led the commercial negotiations of the deal for 36 multirole Rafale jets in September 2016. He was also extensively involved in the initial prototype flight tests of the Tejas.

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