Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to Get Vir Chakra, 5 IAF Pilots to be Conferred Vayu Seva Medal For Carrying Out Balakot Airstrikes; Yudh Seva Medal For Sqn Ldr Minty Agarwal

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be conferred Vir Chakra on Independence day for shooting down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet during aerial combat which took place on February 27 after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) violated the Indian airspace. In the aerial dogfight, Wg Cdr Varthaman’s Mig-21 Bison was also shot down. Though he ejected safely but his parachute drifted to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot was then captured by the Pakistani Army. He was later released on March 1. Pakistan Air Force Pilot Shahzaz Ud Din Whose F-16 Was Shot Down by Wg Cd Abhinandan Varthaman Mistaken to be Indian; Lynched by PoK Locals?

Apart from Wg Cdr Varthaman, Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal who intercepted PAF aircraft on February 27 will also be conferred Yudh Seva Medal. The five IAF pilots – Wing Commander Amit Ranjan, Squadron Leaders Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujade, BKN Reddy and Shashank Singh are being awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) for carrying out airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Balakot to avenge February 14 Pulwama attack. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Posted at Suratgarh Airbase in Rajasthan: Reports.

The IAF conducted airstrikes in Pakistan on February 26 two weeks after the Pulwama terror attack. IAF’s Mirage-2000 fighter jets crossed the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and targeted the JeM terror camp in Balakot with precision, guided missiles. ‘R-73 Selected’, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s Last Radio Message Before Ejecting Out of Mig-21 Bison.

Meanwhile, Prakash Jadhav of 1 Rashtriya Rifle will be awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously. Jadhav was martyred while fighting terrorists in Kulgham area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in November last year. Apart from Jadhav, eight other army personnel including Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal and Lance Naik Sandeep Singh will be conferred Shaurya Chakra posthumously.

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IAF to Receive First Batch of Rafale Jets Next Month; Warplanes to be Equipped With SCALP Missiles by 2020

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive the first batch of four Rafale jets next month. After extensive trials, these aircraft will be equipped with Meteor missile, SCALP ground attack missiles with a range of up to 300 kms by 2020. IAF pilots are undergoing training in France and will test these aircraft intensively for 1,500 hours, reported Financial Express. Watch Video of Rafale Jets Landing at Yelahanka Air Force Station to Participate in Bengaluru’s Aero India Show.

As per reports, the Rafale jets to be inducted next month will be based at Ambala Airbase in ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron close to Pakistan border. The other squadron of the French fighter jets are expected to be based out of Hashimara in West Bengal to counter China. Rafale Deal: Narendra Modi Led BJP Government Made 25 Percent Payment to France.

Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. It is also referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault.

(Picture Courtesy: Twitter)

IAF Launches Mobile-Based Air Combat Game ‘Indian Air Force: A Cut Above’ to Attract More Youth to Join The Force

Air Chief Marshal Barinder Singh Dhanoa on Wednesday launched Indian Air Force’s (IAF) mobile-based air combat game – ‘Indian Air Force: A Cut Above’ in New Delhi. The teaser of the game was launched on July 20 on IAF’s Twitter handle. The game also features a character with a gunslinger moustache similar to that of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who shot down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter during aerial combat on February 27. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Posted at Suratgarh Airbase in Rajasthan: Reports.

The game is offered on Android and iOS devices. At present the game is available as a single player wherein the user can cherish the thrill of flying experience. Later, the IAF will introduce the multiplayer version of the game. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Meets Army And Air Force Personnel in Jammu And Kashmir; Watch Video.

Teaser of the Game:

The game featuring Wg Cdr Varthaman like character showcases various fighter jets and choppers of the IAF including Su-30 MKIs and Mi-17 helicopters. It also makes a veiled reference to the Balakot airstrike, which was carried out by the IAF on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps in Pakistan on February 26 using Mirage 2000 aircraft. Pakistan’s F-16 Which Violated Indian Air Space Shot Down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with Mig-21 Bison.

With the launch of this game, the IAF aims to attract more youth to join the force to fulfill its depleted manpower. According to reports, Ministry of Defence, the IAF has shortage of 483 officers. Currently, the air force has 12,142 officers as on 1 June, against a sanctioned strength of 12,625.

(Picture Courtesy: Youtube Video Grab/ Defence Insight)

First Batch of 4 Apache AH-64E Attack Helicopters For IAF Arrived At Hindan Air Base

The United States aerospace major Boeing on Saturday handed over the the first four of the 22 Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Hindan air base in Ghaziabad. According to reports, four more Apache AH-64 choppers will reach Indian next week. All these eight chopper will be stationed at Pathankot Air Force Station where they will be stationed permanently. Indian Air Force Soon to Get Boeing’s Apache And Chinook Helicopters.

The first batch of attach helicopters were delivered to the IAF almost four years after India signed a deal to procure 22 Apache AH-64E helicopters. Boeing handed the first AH-64E (I) – Apache Guardian helicopter to the IAF in Mesa of USA’s Arizona in May. Earlier this month two new heavy-lift Chinook helicopters for the IAF arrived at the Mundra port.

New Delhi signed a $ 3 billion deal to buy 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters in September 2015 with Boeing and the government of the United States. The Indian government signed a direct contract with the Boeing to procure Chinook helicopters, while the deal to buy Apache helicopters is a mixed one. IAF Gets First Apache Helicopter During Ceremony Held at Boeing’s Production Facility in United States’ Arizona; Watch Video.

A part of the deal was signed with the US aviation company and the other half is signed with the US government under foreign military sales route. Meanwhile, in 2017, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government signed another deal with the Boeing to acquire six Apache helicopters for the Indian Army. It will be the first fleet of attack helicopters of the army.

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. The helicopter was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986.

(Picture Courtesy: Twitter/Ken Juster)

 

Garima Abrol, Widow of Squadron Leader Samir Abrol of Indian Air Force, Clears SSB Interview, Will Join Air Force Academy in January 2020

Garima Abrol, widow of Squadron Leader Samir Abrol one of the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots who died in a plane crash on February 1, this year in Bengaluru, cleared Services Selection Board (SSB) from AFSB Varanasi in the widow category. Garima will join the Air Force Academy (AFA) in Telangana’s Dundigal in January 2020. After completing training from the AFA, she will be commissioned into the IAF as Flying Officer in 2021. Gauri Mahadik, Widow of Major Prasad Mahadik Of Indian Army to Join Officers’ Training Academy in April.

On February 1, Sqn Ldr Abrol and Sqn Ldr Siddhartha Negi lost their lives after Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft crashed at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in Bengaluru. Sqn Ldr Negi died on the spot, while Sqn Ldr Abrol succumbed to injuries after being taken to the Command hospital. Meet Lt Garima Yadav: A Journey From Beauty Queen To Indian Army Officer.

SSB Crack’s Post:

 

Days after the tragic death of Sqn Ldr Abrol, his brother Sushant Abrol had penned down an emotional poem alleging that corruption in the bureaucracy took his brother’s life. He had also blamed the government for the tragic incident. Lt Sangeeta Mall, Widow of Gorkha Rifles Jawan Joins Indian Army.

Sushant Abrol’s Poem:

Through his poem Sushant had targeted the central leadership for not caring about the lives of soldiers. Garima also shared that poem on her Facebook, after which it went viral on social media.

India Signs Rs 300 Crore Deal With Israel to Procure Advanced Version of SPICE-2000 Bombs Which IAF Used to Conduct Air Strikes In Balakot

India on Thursday signed a deal worth Rs 300 crore with Israel to acquire 100 SPICE Bombs with high explosive war heads for the Indian Air Force. The deal was signed under emergency provisions. The bombs which India is procuring are advanced version of SPICE-2000 bomb. According to reports, deliveries of these 100 bombs would be completed in the next three months. Pakistan’s F-16 Which Violated Indian Air Space Shot Down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with Mig-21 Bison; IAF Presents Cover of AMRAAM Missile As Evidence.

Interestingly, the IAF used these SPICE-2000 bombs while carrying out air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) headquarters in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 in retaliation to February 14 Pulwama attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were martyred. Terror organisation JeM took responsibility for the attack. IAF Air Strikes in Pakistan: ‘We Don’t Count the Dead, Says Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa After BJP Chief Amit Shah Claims Over 250 JeM Terrorists Killed in Balakot.

SPICE-2000 bombs when dropped, create hole in the rooftops and explodes inside the building killing all those present there. However, the advanced version which India is now procuring have the capability to decimate the enemy buildings. The SPICE bombs are manufactured by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. It is the first defence deal signed by the Narendra Modi government after returning to power in May this year.

(Picture Courtesy: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems)

All-Woman IAF Crew Flies Military Chopper Mi-17 V5 For First Time

For the first time, an all-woman crew of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday flew a medium-lift helicopter Mi-17 V5. The chopper took off from a forward air base in South Western Air Command. Flight Lieutenant Parul Bhardwaj was the helicopter’s captain, Flying Officer Aman Nidhi was the co-pilot and Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal was flight engineer. LADY OFFICERS IN INDIAN ARMY TO GET PERMANENT COMMISSION.

Flight Lieutenant Parul hails from Punjab’s Mukerian,while Flying Officer Aman belongs to Ranchi, and Flt Lt Hina hails from Chandigarh. Flying Officer Aman is also the first woman Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot from Jharkhand. Flt Lt Hina is the first woman flight engineer of the IAF. LT SANGEETA MALL, WIDOW OF GORKHA RIFLES JAWAN JOINS INDIAN ARMY.

IAF’s Tweet:

 

They flew a Mi-17 V5 helicopter for a Battle Inoculation Training mission. All the crew members had undergone their basic flying training at the Helicopter Training School at Air Force Station, Hakimpet. The pilots also underwent advanced training at Air Force Station Yelahanka. The helicopter was certified as airworthy by unit engineering officer Squadron Leader Richa Adhikari. CHANGING ROLE OF WOMEN OFFICERS IN INDIAN DEFENCE FORCES.

The Mi-17 V-5 is a Russian helicopter which is considered to be an advanced version of Mi-8/17 family of helicopters. It is deployed in troops and arms transport. It is produced by Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. The Mi-17V-5 has a maximum speed of 250km/h, and a standard range of 580km, which can be extended to 1,065km when fitted with two auxiliary fuel tanks.

(Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Posted at Suratgarh Airbase in Rajasthan: Reports

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Saturday resumed his assigned duties at Suratgarh Air Force Station in Rajasthan, reported The Times of India. However, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has not confirmed his posting to Suratgarh base saying that it is a confidential information. Meanwhile, the force has only confirmed that the IAF officer is posted in Rajasthan.

Local sources told TOI that Wg Cdr Varthaman resumed duties in Suratgarh. However, it is not clear whether the IAF officer will resume to flying after the February 27 incident. In the last week of March, Wg Cdr Varthaman joined his squadron in Srinagar. The IAF transferred the officer out of the Srinagar airbase amid concerns over his security in Kashmir valley. Pakistan’s F-16 Which Violated Indian Air Space Shot Down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with Mig-21 Bison; IAF Presents Cover of AMRAAM Missile As Evidence.

Earlier this month, a video of the IAF officer’s interaction with his colleagues went viral on social media. In the video, Wg Cdr Varthaman was looking fit and was seen clicking pictures with his air force colleagues and army personnel. The IAF pilot also joined men in shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. During his interaction, Wg Cdr Varthaman thanked the countrymen for their wishes. He said, “These photographs are not for you but for your families. I have not been able to meet them. I have recovered because of their prayers and the prayers of many.”

Wg Cdr Varthaman was part of a team comprising of six Mi-21 Bison pilots who took off from Srinagar, along with Su-30 MKIs, Mig-29s and Mirage-2000s from other air force stations in response to Pakistan’s airspace violation on February 27. The PAF fighters dropped bombs at army formation camps in West of Rajouri in Sunderbani of Jammu and Kashmir. According to reports, the dogfight lasted for about 15 minutes, during which the IAF pilot managed to “lock on” to PAF’s F-16 and then fired R-73 missile. Pakistan Air Force Pilot Shahzaz Ud Din Whose F-16 Was Shot Down by Wg Cd Abhinandan Varthaman Mistaken to be Indian; Lynched by PoK Locals?

During the aerial combat, Wg Cdr Varthaman let loose the Vympel R-73 air-to-air missile at the Pakistan fighter jet, F-16, before he himself was hit. After ejecting from his MIg-21 Bison, his parachute drifted in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) where he was taken into custody by the Pakistani Army. ‘R-73 Selected’, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s Last Radio Message Before Ejecting Out of Mig-21 Bison.

The IAF officer was released almost after 60 hours by Pakistan on March 1. After his return from Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah border, Wg Cdr Varthaman underwent a series of medical tests at Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) hospital in Delhi. He was also recommended by the IAF for the Vir Chakra, the third highest wartime gallantry award after the Paramvir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra.

 

 

DRDO Successfully Conducts Flight Test of ABHYAS Drone

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday successfully conducted successful flight test of ABHYAS – High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) from Interim Test Range, Chandipur in Odisha. “The flight test was tracked by various RADARS and Electro Optic Systems and proved its performance in fully autonomous way point navigation mode,” said DRDO in a statement. IAF Fighter Pilots to Fly Gaganyaan, India’s First Manned Space Mission.

The configuration of ABHYAS is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine and uses indigenously developed MEMS based navigation system for its navigation and guidance. The performance of the system was as per simulations carried out and demonstrated the capability of ABHYAS to meet the mission requirement for a cost effective HEAT. Indian Army to Get Russian-Origin T-90MS Tanks Under ‘Make in India’ Program.

PIB’s Tweet:

The fuselage for the Abhyas was designed by adopting Lakshya tow body (not the main fuselage) developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO . The fuselage consists of five sections, namely the nose cone, equipment bay, fuel tank bay, air intake bay and tail cone. IAF Gets First Apache Helicopter During Ceremony Held at Boeing’s Production Facility in United States’ Arizona; Watch Video.

The proof of concept and pre-project trials were completed on January 2013. Meanwhile, the first experimental launch (without the main engine) of the Abhyas was held at the Chitradurga Aeronautical Test Range on 23 June 2012. The project was sanctioned with an initial funding of Rs 15 crore. According to reports, three services have floated a tender to procure 225 HEAT Drones.

(Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@PIB_India)

IAF Fighter Pilots to Fly Gaganyaan, India’s First Manned Space Mission

Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots would be playing a crucial role in India’s first manned space flight mission, Gaganyaan which is likely to be launched in 2022. Bengaluru-based IAF’s Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) has started the process of finalising the crew. On the occasion of 75th Raising Day of the Artificial Limb Centre (ALC) of the Indian Army Director General Armed Forces Medical Service Lieutenant General Bipin Puri said that said that two or three IAF fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) would be the main astronauts of the Gaganyaan.

On the sidelines of the event, Lt Gen Puri told The Times of India, “We have got big groups of pilots, of whom the best two or three would be selected for the mission.” Various meetings between the he India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the IAM. Meanwhile, in February this year, reports surfaced that the IAF was asked to train pilots for the mission. ISRO Launches Satellite GSAT-7A to Enhance Communication Capabilities of Indian Air Force.

The IAM is affiliated to the Armed Forces Medical Services and is the only institute in India and South East Asia that conducts research in aerospace medicine. Meanwhile, on January 30, 2019, the ISRO had inaugurated the Human Space Flight Centre at the agency headquarters in Bengaluru. This headquarter will be responsible for the implementation of the Gaganyaan project. IAF Gets First Apache Helicopter During Ceremony Held at Boeing’s Production Facility in United States’ Arizona; Watch Video.

The ‘Gaganyaan’ mission, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 during an Independence Day speech. If this mission is completed successfully, India will become the fourth nation to launch its manned space aircraft. In its maiden crewed mission, ISRO’s largely autonomous 3.7-tonne capsule will orbit the Earth at 400 km altitude for up to seven days with a three-person crew on board. The crewed vehicle is planned to be launched on ISRO’s GSLV Mk III.