Indian Air Force Day 2023: Celebrating 91 Years of Skyward Valor

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Indian Air Force Day

The Indian Air Force (IAF) takes to the skies on October 8th each year to commemorate its founding and celebrate its incredible journey. The 91st Air Force Day, a day of great significance and pride for India, was celebrated this year. Additionally, the celebration will unfold in the sacred city of Prayagraj. Whereby, the IAF will display its prowess with a magnificent aerial showcase, including the iconic luv Kush, Sugreev, and Bharat formations, alongside many others. In this blog post, we will delve into the rich history, significance, and the grandeur of the Indian Air Force Day 2023 celebration.

A Legacy of Strength

The Indian Air Force, which was established on October 8th, 1932, stands as the fourth largest Air force of the world. Only countries like United States, China, and Russia are ahead of it. Its 91st anniversary this year demonstrates how much it has accomplished on the global scene. It’s important to note that the Ghaziabad airbase hosted a magnificent celebration the previous year, complete with a spectacular procession and an outstanding Airpower display.

Significance of Indian Air Force Day

As the date of the official founding of the Indian Air Force, October 8 occupies a special place in India’s heart. It’s a day for celebration for the entire country, not just the IAF but for the entire nation. Air force bases across India come alive with parades and air shows, displaying the might of the “Bharatiya Vayu Sena,” the aerial arm of the Indian defense forces. This day symbolizes the birth of Indian airpower, which supports the army’s efforts on land.

A Glorious History

A important turning point in India’s history of defense was the official founding of the Indian Air Force on October 8, 1932.Whereas the first AC flight took off on April 1st, 1933, approximately six months later after its establishment. It was the first ushering in a new era. Undoubtedly, the choice to mark this day as the IAF’s anniversary was selected in order to increase public awareness of the vital function that the force plays in defending the country. Moreover, the Indian defense system commands respect from all citizens. Therefore, Air Force Day is celebrated with fervor, featuring air shows and parades conducted by dedicated Indian Air Force cadets.

During World War II, the IAF displayed exceptional professionalism and achievements, earning it the prestigious “Royal” prefix in March 1945. It was known as the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) during this time. However, in 1950, as India transitioned into a republic, the IAF dropped its “Royal” prefix.

The 91st Air Force Day Extravaganza

This year’s Air Force Day celebration is set to take place in the holy city of Prayagraj, a place of deep spiritual significance in Hinduism. The Indian Air Force will paint the skies with breathtaking formations, including Sugreev, luv-Kush, Bharat, and more. A total of 120 aircraft will participate in this awe-inspiring aerial display, making it a sight to behold.

Farewell to the MIG-21

In a poignant moment, the legendary Russian-origin MIG-21 jets will make their final appearance during the Indian Air Force Day parade. The IAF has initiated the process of phasing out the remaining three squadrons of these iconic aircraft. They will be replaced in 2025 by the domestically produced Tejas Mark 1A aircraft. In the lead-up to the festivities, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhary, the chief of the air staff, made this declaration during a press conference.

Tejas Mk 1A

Sarang Helicopters Take Center Stage

Adding to the grandeur of the 91st Air Force Day celebration in Prayagraj, the Sarang helicopters will be a highlight of the event. On the 5th of October, 2023, the South and Air Command released a stunning video showcasing the fleet of Sarang helicopters. This year, the Sarang helicopter display team will debut five helicopters in Prayagraj, promising a mesmerizing show for the audience.

Sarang Helicopter

A Celebration of Pride and Valor

The Indian Air Force Day 2023 celebration will be a display of enthusiasm and unwavering commitment to duty. Air Force Day is celebrated with immense zeal and pride at various air stations throughout the country. The military parade will follow the established schedule and protocol. Therefore, it will provide a glimpse into the precision and discipline of the Indian Air Force. The Supreme Commander of the Indian Air Force will also be an integral part of the festivities.

Motto: “Touch the Sky with Glory”

The motto for Air Force is “Nabham Sparsham Deeptham,” which translates to “Touch the Sky with Glory.” This motto of the Indian Air Force defines their commitment and excellence in what they are intended to do. On the path of performing their duty they safeguard the skies of the country. They have more than 1400 airplanes and 1,70,000 people working for them. Therefore, it makes them a strong force that has protected India’s independence.

Theme for 2023: “IAF – Airpower Beyond Boundaries”

This year’s theme for the Indian Air Force Day, “IAF – Airpower Beyond Boundaries”. It highlights the force’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and its role as the guardian of the nation’s skies.

A History of Valor

The IAF has a significant record of serving the nation. It has participated in many wars to safeguard the independence of the country. It has involved in conflict once with China and four times with Pakistan ever since its independence. For Example, its assistance in 1961 when Goa joined the Indian Union, crucial aviation support in the 1962 India-China conflict. However, its key function in the 1984 seizure of the Siachen Glacier cannot be forgotten.


Let’s honor the bravery and commitment of the courageous soldiers in blue as they protect our skies and our country. This day honors the IAF’s illustrious past. Moreover, it also reiterating its dedication to continuing to touch the skies with glory on an annual basis. This event honors the legacy of steadfast bravery, excellence, and commitment to the nation’s defense by the Indian Air Force.

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