Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari unveiled a new Ensign on its 91st anniversary at Prayagraj on Sunday, and urged his force to become one of the best in the world by 2032 to align with the country’s target of becoming a developed nation by that time.

The new flag incorporates the air force crest in the top right corner of the ensign, towards the fly side. As per the Ministry of Defence, the alteration in the flag has been done for better reflection of the values of the IAF.

In his speech at the Air Force Day, VR Chaudhari stated that over the years the IAF has evolved into one of the finest air forces in the world but that, as per him, is not enough. “If India is on the path to become a developed nation by 2047, then IAF must be one of the best, if not the best, by the time we complete 100 years in 2032. The vision, as laid down in our doctrine, is to be an agile and adaptable air force that provides decisive aerospace power in furtherance of our national interests. In order to make our vision a reality, we must all play our respective parts diligently. We must reform, or become a relic; we must innovate, else become mundane and we must transform, else become irrelevant,” Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari told the gathering at Prayagraj which also witnessed an impressive fly past.

The IAF chief told his colleagues to strive for excellence in everything they do, be it operations, training, maintenance and administration. “This is non-negotiable,” he pointed out. We must strive to be leaders in technology and innovation and invest in cutting-edge research, development and acquisition to build technological superiority, he said. Innovation must become a part of our DNA, enabling us to easily adapt to emerging threats and challenges, he added.

Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari also had a word of advise for the leadership of his force. He told them to “lead by example and uphold our core values of mission, integrity and excellence in all that we do”. According to him, IAF employees are the most valuable asset. We must prioritise the well-being, professional development and readiness of our air warriors above everything else. Your dedication and skills are the foundation of the air forces’ inherent strength, he stated. Gen Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff, former chiefs, Air Marshal RGK Kapoor, AOC-in-C, Central Air Command, Senior Officers from the three services, and veterans were among those present on the Air Force Day.