90 Years of the Indian Air Force: Present Capabilities and Future Prospects
The Indian Air Force celebrates 90 years of existence in October 2022. As the fourth largest air force in the world, and one of the few with nuclear capability, the subject is interesting and important both historically and in the context of its future role on the global stage. Its position in Asia, sharing a border with China, only serves to heighten the significance of this air service.
In some ways the accumulation of aircraft for the IAF mirrored the growth of the Israeli Air Force. As a former member of the British Empire, India inherited a great deal of hand-me-downs, but then as global politics dictated, India sourced their aircraft from both sides of the cold war battle lines, to where today they operate a mix of both western and former soviet bloc types, as well as a few indigenous successes. The focus of the book is well-dispersed across all types and services of the IAF, from fixed and rotary-wing types, ground-based air defense systems, air- and ground- launched nuclear weapons and India’s present foray into space. The book includes a discussion of notable operations, such as Operation Cactus in 1988 and the Balakot strike in 2019, along with a detailed description of the doctrine of the IAF.
With 69 color photos, 15 color profiles, a regional map and 8 tables, there is content to satisfy both the history buff and the scale modeler, across the IAF’s 90-year history. Modelers should know there are no details of paint colors. Thanks to the team at Helion for another nice history and reference source, and to Casemate for the opportunity to review it.