Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Choudhary, the fighter pilot in charge of the Ladakh sector at the height of the India-China crisis, took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on Thursday. He will succeed Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.
New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Choudhary, the fighter pilot in charge of the Ladakh sector at the height of the India-China crisis, took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on Thursday. He will succeed Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.
He took office at a time when the country is still locked in a standoff with China and tensions remain high in the geopolitical sphere due to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
Bhadauria retired after 42 years of service and will be remembered as the architect of two mega fighter aircraft deals: the Rafale and the indigenous Tejas Mark 1A jet.
Who is Vivek Ram Choudhary
1. Choudhary has held various important positions both in Field Formation and Air Headquarters.
2. His son is a pilot of Rafale fighter aircraft.
3. He ensured smooth induction of Rafale in the Indian Air Force as Ambala airbase was under him as Western Air Commander.
4. Joining the fighter stream of the Indian Air Force in December 1982, he has over 3,800 hours of flying experience on a variety of fighter and trainer aircraft.
5. He has flown several missions during Operation Meghdoot, Air Force support for the capture of Siachen Glacier in 1980s and Operation Safed Sagar (assistance provided by IAF during Kargil conflict in 1999).
6. An alumnus of the National Defense Academy and Defense Services Staff College, Wellington, Choudhary has commanded a frontline fighter squadron and a combat base during his career.
7. He has served in various capacities including Deputy Commandant of Air Force Academy; Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Air Defence) and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers).
8. Choudhary will also be responsible for operating modern air defense systems from Russia like the S-400, which will be inducted soon.
9. He will also be responsible for modernization of the fighter aircraft fleet as there are plans to induct more indigenous and foreign-origin fighter jets in the near future.
First published:September 30, 2021, 2:03 pm