Air Marshal Arup Raha to take over as Air Force chief on Tuesday

Air Marshal Arup Raha, an ace fighter pilot, will on Tuesday take over as the Air Force chief succeeding incumbent Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne.

Eastern Air Command chief Air Marshal RK Sharma will succeed Raha as the Vice Chief of Air Staff.

Born on December 26, 1954, 59 year-old Raha is expected to have a tenure of three years as the Chief of Air Staff.

Commissioned on December 14, 1974 in the fighter stream of the IAF, Raha has held various command, staff and instructional appointments in his 39-year-old career.

He has also served as Air Attache at the Embassy of India in Ukraine.

Besides various technical courses, Raha has done Strategic Nuclear Orientation Course and Junior Commanders' course. He has commanded Central Air Command and Western Air Command.

Raha has served as Directing Staff at Flying Instructors School, Tambaram (Tamil Nadu) as well as at the Gwalior-based Tactics and Combat Development Establishment of the IAF.

Raha will get the command of the force at a time when it is engaged in a tussle with its largest supplier Hindustan Aeronautics Limited over the issue of indigenous and foreigner trainer aircraft.

The IAF is also engaged in intense negotiations for the procurement of 126 Rafale multi-role combat aircraft from the French firm Dassault Aviation.

Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is expected to be the next Chief of the Army, will also move in the Army headquarters as the Vice Chief of Army Staff on Tuesday.

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