Chief of the Air Staff
Flag of the Chief of the Air Staff
Incumbent
Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari,
PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC

since 30 September 2021
 Indian Air Force
StatusLeader and Commanding Officer of the Air Force
AbbreviationCAS
Member ofNational Security Council
Reports to
Prime Minister
Minister of Defence
Chief of Defence Staff
SeatCentral Secretariat
AppointerAppointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)
Term length3 years or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
Constituting instrumentAir Force Act, 1950 (Act No. 45 of 1950)
PrecursorAir Officer Commanding, Royal Indian Air Force
Formation26 January 1950; 71 years ago (1950-01-26)
First holderAir Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst
DeputyVice Chief of Air Staff
Salary250,000 (US$3,300) monthly[1][2]
WebsiteOfficial website

The Chief of the Air Staff (India), known also as the Air Force Chief, is the chief commanding authority and head air marshal of the Indian Air Force. The COAS is the most senior member of the Air Force, and is usually the highest ranking air officer of the Indian Armed Forces unless the Chief of Defence is an officer of the aerial branch. The office holder is the chief adviser to the Minister of Defence on aerial affairs and heads the military staff of the Indian Air Force.

The current CAS is Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari who took office on 30 September 2021, following the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.[3]

Office of the Chief of Air Staff

At Independence, the head of the Air Force designated as the "Air Marshal Commanding, Royal Indian Air Force". On 1 March 1948, the title of "Chief of the Air Staff" was added,[4] with a further re-designation to "Chief of the Air Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Royal Indian Air Force" on 21 June to maintain uniformity across the three armed services.[5]

The "Royal" designation was dropped when India became a republic on 26 January 1950. Thus re-designating the head of IAF to "Chief of the Air Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force".

The Commanders-In-Chief (Change in Designation) Act, 1955 re-designated the head of IAF to "Chief of Air Staff". The position was held by a three-star ranked Air Marshal until 1966, when the position was upgraded to the four-star rank of an Air Chief Marshal.

Appointments to the office are made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). The CAS reaches superannuation upon three years in the office or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.

Appointees

See also: RAF India § Commanders

The following tables chronicle the appointees to the office of the Chief of the Air Staff or its preceding positions since the independence of India.[6]

(**Seconded from the Royal Air Force)

Air Marshal Commanding, Royal Indian Air Force (1947–1948)

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Time in office
1
Elmhirst, ThomasAir Marshal
Sir Thomas CB, KBE, AFC
(1895–1982)
[a]
15 August 194720 June 1948310 days

Chief of the Air Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Royal Indian Air Force (1948–1950)

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Time in office
1
Elmhirst, ThomasAir Marshal
Sir Thomas Elmhirst CB, KBE, AFC
(1895–1982)
[a]
21 June 194825 January 19501 year, 218 days

Chief of the Air Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force (1950–1955)

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Time in office
1
Elmhirst, ThomasAir Marshal
Sir Thomas Elmhirst KBE, CB, AFC
(1895–1982)
[a][7]
26 January 195023 February 195028 days
2
Ivelaw-Chapman, RonaldAir Marshal
Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman KBE, CB, DFC, AFC
(1899–1978)
[a]
23 February 19509 December 19511 year, 289 days
3
Gibbs, GeraldAir Marshal
Gerald Ernest Gibbs CIE, CBE, MC & Two Bars
(1896–1992)
[a]
10 December 195131 March 19542 years, 111 days
4
Mukerjee, SubrotoAir Marshal
Subroto Mukerjee OBE
(1911–1960)
1 April 195431 March 19551 year, 0 days

Chief of the Air Staff (1955–present)

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Time in office
4
Mukerjee, SubrotoAir Marshal
Subroto Mukerjee OBE
(1911–1960)
1 April 19558 November 1960 †5 years, 221 days
5
Engineer, AspyAir Marshal
Aspy Merwan Engineer DFC
(1912–2002)
1 December 196031 July 19643 years, 243 days
6
Singh, ArjanAir Chief Marshal
Arjan Singh DFC
(1919–2017)
1 August 196415 July 19694 years, 348 days
7
Lal, PratapAir Chief Marshal
Pratap Chandra Lal DFC
(1916–1982)
16 July 196915 January 19733 years, 184 days
8
Mehra, OmAir Chief Marshal
Om Prakash Mehra PVSM
(1919–2015)
16 January 197331 January 19763 years, 15 days
9
Moolgavkar, HrushikeshAir Chief Marshal
Hrushikesh Moolgavkar PVSM, MVC
(1920–2015)
1 February 197630 August 19782 years, 241 days
10
Latif, IdrisAir Chief Marshal
Idris Hasan Latif PVSM
(1923–2018)
1 September 197830 August 19813 years, 29 days
11
Singh, DilbaghAir Chief Marshal
Dilbagh Singh PVSM, AVSM, VM
(1926–2001)
1 September 19813 September 19843 years, 2 days
12
Katre, LakshmanAir Chief Marshal
Lakshman Madhav Katre PVSM, AVSM
(1926–1985)
3 September 19841 July 1985 †301 days
13
Fontaine, DenisAir Chief Marshal
Denis Anthony La Fontaine PVSM, AVSM, VM
(1929–2011)
3 July 198531 July 19883 years, 28 days
14
Mehra, SurinderAir Chief Marshal
Surinder Kumar Mehra PVSM, AVSM, VM
(1932–2003)
1 August 198831 July 19912 years, 364 days
15
Suri, NirmalAir Chief Marshal
Nirmal Chandra Suri PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
(born 1933)
31 July 199131 July 19932 years, 0 days
16
Kaul, SwaroopAir Chief Marshal
Swaroop Krishna Kaul PVSM, MVC, ADC
(born 1935)
1 August 199331 December 19952 years, 152 days
17
Sareen, SatishAir Chief Marshal
Satish Kumar Sareen PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
(born 1939)
31 December 199531 December 19983 years, 0 days
18
Tipnis, AnilAir Chief Marshal
Anil Yashwant Tipnis PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
(born 1940)
31 December 199831 December 20013 years, 0 days
19
Krishnaswamy, SrinivasapuramAir Chief Marshal
Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy PVSM, AVSM, VM
(born 1943)
31 December 200131 December 20043 years, 0 days
20
Tyagi, ShashindraAir Chief Marshal
Shashindra Pal Tyagi PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
(born 1945)
31 December 200431 March 20072 years, 90 days
21
Major, FaliAir Chief Marshal
Fali Homi Major PVSM, AVSM, SC, VM, ADC
(born 1947)
31 March 200731 May 20092 years, 61 days
22
Naik, PradeepAir Chief Marshal
Pradeep Vasant Naik PVSM, VSM, ADC
(born 1949)
31 May 200931 July 20112 years, 61 days
23
Browne, NormanAir Chief Marshal
Norman Anil Kumar Browne PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
(born 1951)
31 July 201131 December 20132 years, 153 days
24
Raha, ArupAir Chief Marshal
Arup Raha PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
(born 1954)
31 December 201331 December 20163 years, 0 days
25
Dhanoa, BirenderAir Chief Marshal
Birender Singh Dhanoa PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VM, ADC
(born 1957)
31 December 201630 September 20192 years, 273 days
26
Bhadauria, RakeshAir Chief Marshal
Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
(born 1959)
30 September 201930 September 20212 years, 0 days
27
Chaudhari, Vivek RamAir Chief Marshal
Vivek Ram Chaudhari PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
(born 1962)
30 September 2021Incumbent109 days

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e Seconded from the Royal Air Force

References

  1. ^ "Report of the 7th Central Pay Commission of India" (PDF). Seventh Central Pay Commission, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  2. ^ Biswas, Shreya, ed. (29 June 2016). "7th Pay Commission cleared: What is the Pay Commission? How does it affect salaries?". India Today. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  3. ^ Quint, The (21 September 2021). "Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari To Be Next Chief of Air Staff". TheQuint. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Press Communique" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. 28 February 1948. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Press Communique" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. 21 June 1948. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Chiefs of Air Staff". Bharat Rakshak. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  7. ^ Chiefs of the Indian Air Force 1947 to Present Archived 26 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine