Air Combat Training Image Credit: Geopolitics
Air Combat Training Image Credit: Geopolitics

Air Combat Training

SANJAY BADRI MAHARAJ explains why it is of vital importance to impart the best training to fighter pilots on whose operational percepts and competence the Indian Air Force is structured

Sanjay Badri Maharaj

The Indian Air Force operates a robust and effective flight training system which provides a solid foundation for air combat. At the heart of this is a system that combines aircraft, simulators and a operational conversion system that emphasizes building air combat skills before a fighter pilot is declared operational on the various types of aircraft.

Flight training in Indian Air Force

The IAF operates a three-stage flight training programme which involves the use of basic turboprop trainers, an intermediate state with basic jet trainers and an advanced stage with advanced jet trainers.

India's fighter pilots begin their flight and academic at the Indian Air Force Academy in Dundigal. This training comprises three stages. The first stage lasts six months of flight-related training which takes place alongside the standard joint services training that all three services receive.

Prior to flying, recruits to the flying branch first receive technical training on a trainer aircraft, and this includes the theoretical teaching of air combat principles plus practical demonstration of aircraft systems. It should be noted that the IAF accepts trainees who do not come through the National Defence Academy and such trainees must complete a six month preflying training programme before beginning the first stage of training at the IAF Academy.

The progression of flying training in the Indian Air Force has three stages: Basic, Intermedi

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