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Assorted Photo Collection


Airspace Violations

Wreckage of Pakistani UAV that was shotdown

Lt Col Rathore of the Indian Army displayes wreckage of a Pakistan UAV shot down over Mendhar, Poonch in J&K on 05th Feb 2003. The UAV is of Italian make and was flying 400m on Indian side of the LoC. The aircraft was down by ground fire. Debris recovered included one wing, engine Assembly, a frame and transmitters.

PTI photo.

US government aircraft violated Indian airspace

Boeing 757-22L belonging to Raytheon/COMCO in Mumbai. On 03rd Feb 2003 IAF forced this aircraft to land after it was found overflying Indian airspace without permission. The plane was flying with 11 crew from Karachi in Pakistan to Male in the Maldives.

An-124 Mumbai

19/06/2009: A Russian AN-124 operated by Volga-Dnepr, chartered by the US military, was asked to land at the airport after it violated the Indian airspace. The aircraft took off from Diego Garcia Island and was heading for Kandahar in Afghanistan. The IAF's South Western Air Command (SWAC) air defence 'Movement Liaison Unit', which noticed the aircraft, activated the standard operating procedures under which the Air Traffic Control ordered the cargo chartered plane to land at Mumbai. No IAF fighter jet had scrambled to escort the intruding aircraft, as it followed ATC radio calls and landed in Mumbai at 2240 hours.

© DayLife

UAE C-130 Kolkata

07/09/2009: A UAE C-130 bound for Hanyang, in China's Hubei province, was grounded in Kolkata after arms and ammunition which had not been declared by the crew were found on board the plane from Abu Dhabi. The military transport plane was given permission to land in Kolkata to refuel on its way to China. It was taken into custody after the weapons were found by customs officials.

© DayLife

UAE C-130 Kolkata

The Indian government gave the clearance to the aircraft to leave after it was told by UAE authorities that its pilot had committed a "technical error" over declaring the on-board arms and ammunition for which they expressed regret.

© DayLife

Boeing 767 in Mumbai

18/10/2009: A Boeing 767 was asked to land at Mumbai airport by the Indian Air Force (IAF) after it emerged that the plane did not have permission to ferry troops over the country. The plane, belonging to North American Airlines, had been chartered by the US Navy to carry 205 passengers, including some Marines, from Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Utapao in Bangkok.

© DayLife

US Marine Corps aircraft in Mumbai

The plane had a civilian call sign from the directorate-general of civil aviation but did not have the mandatory air operation routing clearance from the IAF. The AOR has to be procured by every foreign plane flying through Indian airspace with military equipment or personnel. Some marines were equipped with small arms onboard. A source in the US consulate in Mumbai said: “The necessary clearance may have been overlooked inadvertently by the plane as the Marines were going on a holiday to Bangkok.”

© DayLife

Peter Bleach in news conference with UK High Commisionner Andrew Hall after release from prison in Calcutta 04.Feb.2004.

Bleach is a former UK intelligence officer and arms broker and was arrested for involvement in the famous Purulia armsdrop case. The British govt secured his release from life imprisonment in India.

COIN/CT/Internal Security

2010 Chetak Delhi Commonwealth Games security

IAF Chetak is seen above Jawahlal Nehru Stadium during the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010. The games witnessed an unprecedented level of security bandobast in Delhi. IAF deplpyed UAVs, "Heli-Teli" Mi-17s and other helicopters with special forces.

© The Hindustan Times


Air Force Mi-8 or Mi-17 chopper is seen above the Games Village created for CWG 2010.

© The Hindu

2010 delhi air defence republic day security

Army air defence guns positioned in Delhi to secure airspace for the annual Republic Day parade. [Jan.2010]


2011 Mi-17 Mumbai World Cup security wankhede

Air Force Mi-17 helicopter (Z-3366?) is seen above Wankhede Stadium at Mumbai prior to the Cricket World Cup [2011].


National Security Guard (NSG) IL-76

IAF/ARC IL-76 deploys National Security Guard (NSG) commandos to Patna city for an operation.

Indian Army Dhruv helicopter in Kashmir

23rd Sep 2009 at Bonyari, Jammu & Kashmir. An Indian Army Dhruv recovers the mortal remains of Major J Suresh Suri, who was killed in a gunbattle with terrorists.

IAF Mi-17 in Mumbai terrorist attack

NSG commandos 'fast rope' down from IAF Mi-17 (Z-3362) to the rooftop of Nariman House, which was attacked by Pakistani terrorists on 26/11/2008 in Mumbai.


Another view of the Nariman House operation. This Mi-17 (Z-3362) is equipped with floatation equipment that allow the helicopter to stay afloat for 30 minutes in water, thus ideal for Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions.


UNOSOM II. A US officer checks out the night sight on IAF Chetak in Somalia.

© MoD



[21st Dec 2007] Gp Capt Anil Tiwari hands over the Command of the Indian Aviation Contingent (IAC) to Gp Capt Sudheer Maingi. Gp Capt Maingi's squadron was comprised the second rotation of IAF personnel in the UNMIS mission.

© Indian Air Force

United Nations Mission in Sudan - Indian Air Force

The UNMIS Force Commander, Lt Gen JS Liddder UYSM AVSM addresses the personnel of the IAC on the Indian Republic Day.

© Indian Air Force

IAF Mi-8 in Sudan

[16th Apr 2008] Indian Ambassador to Sudan - Deepak Vohra - visited IAC from Khartoum

© Indian Air Force

2002 Operation Parakram

2002 Parakram IAF MiG-21 R-60 pilot

A young pilot waits for his mission. His MiG-21 on ORP is armed with R-60 AAMs.

S-125 Pechora (NATO: SA-3 Goa) SAM system deployed close to India-Pakistan border near Amritsar. May 25th, 2002.

© Corbis

Pakistani Air Defence Artillery - Parakram

26/12/2001: Pakistani Army air defence guns stationed at Karachi to protect the high value POL tanks. These are 37mm Type-74 AAA guns manufactured by People's Republic of China.

Aircraft Hijack Incidents

1971 Fokker F-27 VT-DMA Indian Airlines Hijack Lahore Pakistan

January 1971: An Indian Airlines Fokker F-27 (VT-DMA) was hijacked to Lahore, Pakistan. It was destroyed on the tarmac by the hijackers on secret orders of the Pakistan Army.

© historyofpia.com

SA-13 SAM deployed by Taliban in Kandahar

IC-814 Hijacking (1999). A Strela (NATO: SA-13 Gopher) system protects the the Kandahar airfield where the hijcked aircraft is located.

Taliban operators armed with Stinger MANPADS secure the airspace around the hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Indian Airlines Kathmandu-Delhi Airbus A300 was hijacked by terrorists with 186 people hostage on Dec 24th, 1999

The aircraft was forced to Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan which was then under Taliban control.

© Corbis

Operations at LoC

Indian Army Chetak wreckage

A salvaged wreck of an IA/IAF Chetak helicopter on public display in Gilgit. According to the plaque installed the "Indian Air Force Alouette III helicopter" strayed into Minimarg and was prevented from take-off by troops under Major Sultan Abdul Hamid. However, the state of the airframe suggests that this is a crashed example from Siachen or LoC theatres. In case the helicopter was functional after landing the pilot would have been captured and interned as PoW. No capture of an Indian helicopter pilot is known. The helicopter is on display since October 1997.

Photo by Shah Khan

India China War (1962)

On 20th October 1962, a Bell 47G was lost on the Tsangdhar ridge. Pilot was Sqn Ldr Vinod Kumar Sehgal with Major Ram Singh as crew. The helicopter was on a rescue mission. The wreckage was captured by PRC forces.

1962 Dakota Advanced Landing Ground (ALG)

[Nov 1962] A Dakota air drops supplies in Assam. Indian lines were highly inaccessible by road and hence difficult to supply.

© LIFE magazine

1962 IAF C-47 dakota India China war

The total airlift capacity of the IAF was utilised to the maximum during the border war but was well short of the tonnage required to adequetly supply the troops on the ground.

© LIFE magazine

Indian Air Force Mi-4 helicopter

[Nov 1962] Senior officers of the Indian Army accompanied by IAF officers make a field visit to asses the situation during the war with China. Mi-4 helicopters are visible in the background.

© LIFE Magazine

ONUC Congo (1960)

Indian Air Force Canberra in Congo - ONUC

A rare colour picture of a IAF Canberra B.(I)Mk 58 in Congo

Alf Blume Collection

ONUC - United Nations in Congo, IAF

A total of six Canberras from No. 5 Squadron (Tuskers) were sent for the ONUC mission

Alf Blume Collection

This DC-3 KA-DFN (exSAAF, exZS-DFN) was destroyed by IAF Canberra bombers at Kolwezi airport on Dec 06th, 1961.

© Jean-Pierre Sonck

The mission required the pilots to navigate thru a long distance over unfamiliar territory to carry out the attack.

© Jean-Pierre Sonck

Naval Aviation

1989 USN F-14A VF-111 202 intercept IN Tu-142MK-E IN318

1989 - US Navy F-14A Tomcat [202] aircraft of Fighter Squadron 111 (VF-111) investigates an Indian Navy Tu-142 Bear F [IN318] maritime reconnaissance aircraft somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Indian Navy Chetak despatches MARCOS

Indian Navy Chetak deploys Marine Commandos (MARCOS) on to a rescued freighter - MV Jag Arnav - off the coast of Somalia. The merchant vessel had been attacked by pirates but were engaged by the helicopter before they could board the ship.

2009 Indian Navy Chetak Somalia Piracy Sanderling Ace

At about 5:30 PM on 19 Dec 09, while proceeding to effect rendezvous with Merchant Ship MV SEAMEC II, Indian Naval Warship deployed in the Gulf of Aden picked up a distress call from MV SANDERLING ACE, of sighting a white skiff (speed boat) approaching her at 20 Knots. MV SANDERLING ACE also raised an alarm on Ship Security Alert System. On receiving the alarm, the Indian Naval Warship immediately launched her Chetak helicopter to intercept the skiff. On sighting the helo, the SKIFF broke off from the merchant vessel. Subsequently, when the helicopter fired warning shots, the SKIFF stopped. Ship thereafter closed on the skiff.

2010 Indian Navy Seaking MARCOS Somalia Piracy BBC Orinoco

At about 6 am on Thursday, about 450 nautical miles off Mumbai, a merchant ship MV BBC Orinoco with a crew of 14 members, including five Ukrainians and nine Filipinos, reported to the Indian Navy that they were being attacked by pirates. On receipt of this information, the Indian Navy promptly detached one of its missile corvettes, INS Veer, to intercept the distressed vessel and also sailed a capital ship INS Delhi with a team of Marine Commandos (MARCOS) embarked. MARCOS rappelled onto the merchant ship from a Sea King helicopter and took the crew, who were locked in compartments, to safety, while the helicopter provided air borne fire support.

chetak helicopter IN421 Indian Navy somalia pirates

Indian Navy Chetak (IN421) interrogates a suspected Pirate vessel

Chetak coast guard CG802 machine gun

This file picture of a Indian Coast Guard shows the typical Medium Machine Gun (MMG) mount which is typical of IN and ICG Chetak helicopters. Similar helicopters are used in anti-piracy patrols.

Missions in Antarctica

Indian Navy Chetak Antarctica

Indian Navy (IN) Chetak were part of the reasearch mission in Antarctica.


IAF Mi-8 Antarctica SAR camouflage

IAF Mi-8 and Pisten Bully tracked vehicles.

Courtsey PK Nair and HK Gupta

IAF Mi-8 Antarctica SAR scheme day glow

Transporting a portacabin. Note the SAR scheme.

Courtsey PK Nair and HK Gupta

Air Maintenance Operations

mi-8 indian air force mil offshore bombay

IAF Mi-8 comes into land at the Bombay High offshore oil rig "Sagar Vikas".

© Helicopter Service Austrailia

mi-8 IAF bombay high offshore oil rig

IAF rountinely flies scheduled flights to the offshore complex on request of ONGC. The practice was discountined in favour of private operators, but was resumed after a crash of Mesco Airlines Mi-172 (VT-MAF) in 2003.

© Helicopter Service Austrailia

Mercy Missions

2009 IAF Chetak relief highway

[2009-Oct-04] Air Force pilots plan their relief missions for flood stricken populace while operating from National Highway 7. Pebbair, Mahabubnagar District

IAF IL-76 in USA for Katrina relief

IAF IL-76 at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas with relief supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims.

IAF cable car rescue timber trail

[14th Oct 1992] This famous incident saw the rescue of tourists from a malfunctioned cable car at Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh. The pilot - Gp Capt Fali Major - went on to the become Chief of Air Staff (CAS). This particular incident required each tourist be winched out from the cable car, by hovering precariously close to the set of cables that ran above the cable car.

© Indian Air Force

IAF Mi-17 in Sri Lanka for Tsunami relief

IAF Mi-17 in Sri Lanka for Tsunami relief

IAF Mi-17 in Sri Lanka with relief supplies for the Asian Tsunami disaster. IAF aircraft were based for many weeks out of Sri Lanka (Operation Rainbow).

Operation Castor - Tsunami mission in Maldives

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Do-228 in Maldives. A number of aircraft were based in Maldives for the mercy mission (Operation Castor).

BSF Air Wing Mi-17

A rare picture of a BSF Air Wing Mi-17 in operations - seen here during Jammu and Kashmir 'snow tsunami' rescue missions.

Revision History :

[v1.0][09.Dec.2008] - First Upload
[v1.1][10.Dec.2008] - 2 new pictures of Op Rainbow
[v1.2][14.Dec.2008] - 5 new pictures
[v1.3][27.Jan.2009] - 1 new photo - 1947 ops
[v1.4][12.Feb.2009] - 6 new photos - 1962 ops, UNMIS, mercy missions
[v1.5][16.Feb.2009] - 3 new photos - 1962 ops, CT ops, mercy missions
[v1.6][19.Nov.2009] - 1 new photo - counter terrorism
[v1.7][29.Nov.2009] - 1 new photo - operations at LoC, 2 photos removed
[v1.8][03.Jan.2010] - 6 new photos - Op Parakram, airspace violations
[v1.9][06.May.2012] - 9 new photos - feels good to update this page again!
[v2.0][13.May.2012] - 8 new photos

Other Ops and Incidents : Wreckage photos of the PN Atlantique shot down in 1999
Other Ops and Incidents : IAF's Searcher-II Loss on June 07, 2002
Other Ops and Incidents : IAF in MONUC, Congo
1980s : Photofeature: Operation Cactus
Other Ops and Incidents : Counter Insurgency operations in Ceylon - 1971

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