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Air Force

(Govt & Defence)

Career Information

A High-Flying Career in Indian Air Force


Imagine yourself flying through the skies in one of the many steel angels which belong to the Indian Air Force. IAF promises not only greath career growth but also the thrills attached with high flying. GOI’s Make in India initiative also forecast high growth in the sector.



Somebody has rightly said “ Show me a nation that is great and I’ll show you a nation with a great military”. No country is complete without a strong defence force and airborne defence is an integral part of complete defence mechanism. Indian armed force comprise of three parts – Army, Navy and Air Force.

Indian Air Force (IAF), headquatered at New Delhi,  is the air arm of armed forces of India entrusted to secure the Indian airspace. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is charged with co-ordinating and supervising functions of IAF. The president of India serves as the ex-officio Commander in Chief of the IAF, currently Sh. Pranab Mukerjee.A four-star Air Chief Marshall (ACM) serves as Chief of Air Staff. Arup Raha is the current Chief of Air Staff of Indian Air Force. He joined air force as a pilot officer in 1973.

Any ordinary Indian can start his career in IAF as a pilot officer and graduate to the rank of Chief of IAF, making it a preferred career choice for young India.

Motto and Functions of Indian Air Force

The official website of Indian Air Force states IAF Motto as –

“The Motto of Indian Air Force has been taken from eleventh chapter of the Gita, the Discourse given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra during the Great War of Mahabharata. The Lord is showing His Supreme Divine form to Arjuna and the great form of the Lord is reaching the sky with glory, evoking fear and loss of self-control in the mind of Arjuna.

The Indian Air Force, similarly, aims to overwhelm the adversaries with application of aerospace power in defence of the nation.”

IAF functions in the fields of defence, deterrence, punishment and peace keeping. Its major role includes the following:

  • Safegaurding Indian Airspace : IAF’s primary responsibility is to defend the Indian airspace from any threat.
  • Providing Air Support in times of War :  IAF provides close air support in times of war to Indian Army and Navy. It also provide tactical airlift capabilities.
  • Transportation : IAF also provides infantry and artillery transportation services to Indian Army and Navy.
  • Operation of Indian Space : IAF alongwith civil department of Indian space and the Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO) operates the Indian Space Cell.
  • Disaster Relief Activities : IAF has played instrumental role in providing assistance in disaster relief work during natural calamities like earthquake, flood and tsunami.
  • Peace Keeping Mission : IAF is a prime contributor to the united Nation peace keeping forces.

Recruitment and Qualification 

There are four points of entry in IAF for Officer level posts :

Intermediate level: Class 12th pass and physically fit male candidates in the age of 16 ½ - 19 can apply at this level, the test conducted is popularly known as NDA, National Defence Academy Test.

Graduate level:  Graduates in any discipline and physically fit candidates (both male and female) in the age of 21-25 years can apply at this level, the test conducted is popularly known as CDS, Combined Defence Services Test.

Technical level: Graduates in engineering, CA’s etc can apply at this level in the age of 18-28. These candidates are genrally placed in non-flight duties.

Post Graduate level: Post graduate applicants can apply before age of 28 but they do not qualify for flying branch.

There is also a special entry into the Air Force, which is through the NCC (National Cadet Corps). A senior officer in the NCC, who holds a ‘C’ certificate can directly apply to the Air Force and can join its flying branch, complete with permanent commissions.

Apart from Officer level recruitment IAF recruits Airment through a written test followed by physical fitness test and an interview and medical examination. Central Airmen Selection Board (CASB) carry out this selection and enrolment of Airmen. Airmen are involved in all activities of am air base and give support to various technical and non-technical jobs.

Career Prospects and Pay

An IAF officer starts with a salary of appx INR 50,000 – 60,000 per month and an Airmen with INR 25,000 - 30,000. A pilot officer can even become Air Chief Marshall, most of them makes upto Air Commodore.

All ranks of IAF get common facilities like free accommodation, free medical care for self and family, free education for 2 children, Canteen facilities, Group Insurance  etc.

Recently Government of India has announced OROP for all defence personnel. Retiered air force officers enjoy the benefit of rewarding pension and other supports.

Career Path of IAF Officers                                   


Career Path of IAF Airmen

Last but not the least!

Look above! This mighty angel costs nearly $65 million. Not everyone gets a chance to ride such expensive, vibrant and equipped fighter jets. Not even the Millionares!

IAF promises not only greath career growth but also the thrills attached with high flying. GOI’s recent initiative named Make in India aims to modernize the IAF by creating best manufacturing facilities within the country, forecasting high growth in the sector. Candidates with a zeal to serve the nation and having an attraction for uniformed service have a good career option in Indian Air Force.


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