How to become an officer in the Indian Airforce (IAF)

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About Indian Airforce

Indian Air Force is the air arm of Indian Armed Forces. Primary mission of Indian Air Force is to secure Indian Air Space and conduct aerial warfare. Indian Air Force complements the other two  arms – Indian Army and Indian Navy to provide national security to country. Indian Air Force is ranked number fourth among the air forces of the world.

How to join Indian Airforce as an Officer

There are different entry points to join Indian Air Force as commissioned officers. Candidates short-listed after the initial selection procedure go through a rigorous training regimen at one of the Air Force training establishments. There are four main entry points depending upon your age and qualifications and the branch of air force you opt. The four main entry points are:

  1. National Defence Academy Exam (NDA)
  2. Combined Defence Services Exam (CDS)
  3. Air force Common Admission Test (AFCAT)
  4. National Cadet Corps (NCC) entry

Branches in Indian Air Force

Indian Air Force is divided into three main branches with further sub divisions as given below:

  1. Flying Branch
    1. Fighters
    2. Transporters
    3. Helicopters
  2. Ground Duty (Technical) Branch
    1. Mechanical
    2. Electronics
  3. Ground Duty (Non-Technical) Branch
    1. Administration
    2. Accounts
    3. Logistics
    4. Education
    5. Meteorology

Types of Commission

Indian Air Force offers both Permanent Commission(PC) as well as Short Service Commission (SSC).

Permanent Commission

Permanent Commission means you will serve in Indian Air Force till the age of superannuation. Presently women are considered for Permanent Commission for Education and Accounts Branch only.

Short Service Commission

In Short Service Commission is for both men and women. For flying branch the tenure is 14 years without any further extension. For Ground Duty branches the tenure is for 10 years with a possible extension of another 4 years subject to vacancies, suitability, merit and other service requirements.

Entry Schemes and Eligibility Criteria

Entry SchemeAge LimitEducational QualificationsMode of Selection
Flying Branch
National Defence Academy (NDA)16½ – 19 years12th standard of 10+2 system of education or equivalentWritten Examination by UPSC and SSB Interview
For NCC ‘C’ Certificate holders19 – 22 yearsB.A./ B.Sc.Air Force Selection Board
Ground Duty (Technical)
Aeronautical20 – 27 yearsDegree in Electronics / Telecommunication EngineersAir Force Selection Board
A. E. (Mechanical)20-27 yearsDegree in Aeronautical/ Mechanical Engineering or Degree in ScienceAir Force Selection Board
Ground Duty (Non-technical)
Administrative20 – 23 yearsGraduate with HonoursAir Force Selection Board
Logistics20 – 25 yearsM.A. or M.Sc.Air Force Selection Board
Education20 – 25 yearsDegree with Hons. or Degree and Diploma in TeachingAir Force Selection Board
Accounts20 – 28 yearsB. Com / Chartered AccountancyAir Force Selection Board
Meteorology20 – 27 yearsM.Sc.Air Force Selection Board

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