Interesting Facts about Indian Armed Forces

Great Indian Armed Forces

The supreme commander of Indian Armed forces is the President of India. Indian armed forces have four divisions – Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Cost Guard. The three main divisions Indian Army, Navy and Air Force have their own Chief of Staff which is the functional head of respective divisions. There is no overall head of combined all units which ensures that the Armed Forces will be controlled by Civilian Government. The three Chief of Staff constitute of Chief of Staff Committee, the Chairman of which rotates among the service Chiefs as per seniority.

Present Posts in Indian Armed Forces

  • Present Commander in Chief – Pranab Mukherjee
  • Present Defence Minister – Manohar Parikar
  • Chief of Army Staff – Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag
  • Chief of Naval Staff – Adm. R K Dhowanis
  • Chief of Air Staff – Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha
  • Chairman of Chief of Staff Committee – Arup Raha

 Government Establishments of Indian Armed Forces

The responsibility of national defence lies on Ministry of Defence which is also the operational controller of Indian Armed Forces. All the three Chief of Staff report directly to the Defence Minister. The defence minister is responsible to the parliament for all matters of national defence and security. The Defence Ministry has four departments – i) Department of Defence, ii) Department of Defence Production, iii) Department of Defence Research and Development, iv) Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.

The department of Defence Production ensures production and supply of indigenously built weapons and instruments to the Indian Armed Forces. The department of Defence Production consists of 41 Ordnance factories which are established all over India. There are eight Defence Public Sector Units also working dedicatedly for the production and supply of indigenous arms and ammunition to the Indian Armed Forces. These PSUs are – 1) Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), 2) Bharat Engineers Ltd (BEL), 3) Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), 4) Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), 5) Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL), 6) Mazagaon Dock Ltd (MDL), 7) Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and 8) Mishra Dhatu Nigam (Midhani)

Indian Armed Forces have two other supporting organisations – “Assam Rifles” and “Special Frontier Force” which comes under the category of Paramilitary forces.

Strength of Indian Armed Forces

India has about 13 Lakhs of active serving personnel which makes it the third largest Armed Forces in World. The strength of Indian Army is 11.29 Lakhs, Indian Air Force is about 1.27 Lakhs, Indian Navy is about 58 thousand and that of Coast Guard is 10 thousand. China has largest Armed forces with 22.85 Lakhs of active serving personnel. US stands second with 14.9 Lakhs of active serving personnel. Fourth and Fifth position being taken by North Korea and Russia. Pakistan stands sixth in terms of active serving personnel.

Commissioned Ranks of Indian Armed Forces

Indian Army Indian Air Force Indian Navy
General Air Chief Marshal Admiral
Lieutenant General Air Marshal Vice-Admiral
Major General Air Vice-Marshal Rear-Admiral
Brigadier Air Commodor Commodor
Colonel Group Captain Captain
Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander Commander
Major Squadron Leader Lieutenant Commander
Captain Flight Lieutenant Lieutenant
Lieutenant Flying Officer Sub Lieutenant


Interesting Facts about Indian Armed Forces

  • Farkhor Military Air Base, near Dushanbe, Tajikistan which is operated by Indian Air Force along with Tajikistan’s Air Force is India’s first and only military base outside its own territory
  • The strength of Indian Armed forces is over 13 Lakhs making it World’s third largest Military Force (First being China followed by US ).
  • In terms of “Volunteer Army” India stands second after China. Volunteer here refers to self interest in joining the army and not forceful induction.
  • Indian Armed Forces are the World’s largest Arms importer. These arms are mainly imported from Russia, France, Israel and US.
  • Siachen glacier which is considered as the world’s highest battlefield is controlled by Indian Armed Forces.
  • Indian Armed Forces has inflicted the biggest surrender of world on Pakistan in the Indo-Pak war of 1971. More than 93000 Pakistani soldiers were captured and then released after Shimla pact.
  • Operation Rahat launched in Uttarakhand to rescue the civilians from flood was the largest civilian rescue operation of world.
  • Russia is long time Military partner and India has Military pacts with him regarding supplies of arms and ammunition, training of personnel, up-gradation of machinery, mutual military co-operation.
  • India Armed Forces is in process of development of Chah Bahar sea port in Iran which is considered as a strategic Indian Naval base in coming future.
  • During the decades of 50s Indian Armed Forces has made peace pact with neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan ensuring them of complete safety and sovereignty
  • Indian Armed Forces also has a security pact with Japan.
  • Indian Armed Forces signed peace treaty with Bhutan in year 1951 which states mutual respect of borders, co-operation to further strengthen the relationship and resolving any disputes in cordial way.
  • Indian Armed Forces have signed defense pact with Qatar in 2008 by which India ensures complete protection to Qatar from external threats.
  • In 2012 Indian Armed Forces performed joint Naval Drill with Japan in Indian Ocean and South China sea which was considered as a great diplomacy in countering the China’s rising influence in Indian Ocean and South China sea.
  • Indian Armed Forces is in agreement with Myanmar for developing and supplying four Offshore Patrol Vessels to Myanmar for boosting its maritime security.
  • Indian Armed Forces have extended its military support to Vietnam including repairing and up-gradation of Air Jets (MIG 21) of Vietnam.