Government approves making of new weapon system branch in IAF

Weapon System branch for officers in IAF: The government has approved the creation of a Weapon System (WS) branch for officers in the Indian Air Force (IAF) which will bring all weapon systems operators of the force under one roof.

Key Points:

  • The announcement was made by the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari  in Chandigarh at the Air Force Day parade.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) marked its 90th anniversary on October 8, 2022
  • This is the first time a new operational branch has been created in the Indian Air Force (IAF), since Independence.

Significance of WS branch:

  • The creation of WS branch would entail the unification of all weapon system operators under one entity.
  • It will boost the war-fighting capability of the Indian Air Force.
  • It will encompass operators in four specialised streams of Surface-to-Surface missiles, Surface-to-Air missiles, Remotely Piloted Aircraft, and Weapon System Operators in twin-multi-crew aircraft.
  • It will also be responsible for various weapon systems in the Indian Air Force and result in savings of Rs 3,400 crore.

What is a weapon System branch?

  • A weapon system is made up of one or more weapons along with any necessary delivery and deployment methods, materials, services, personnel, and equipment for self-sufficiency.

Weapon System branch of IAF:

  • This is the fourth branch of the Indian Air Force.
  • The three existing branches are a technical branch, a ground duties branch and a flying branch.
  • There are now four sub-streams, including flying, remote, surface, and intelligence.
  • The remote stream will look after drones and aircraft sans pilots.
  • The flying stream will handle multi-crew and twin-seat aircraft system operators.
  • The surface stream will check the missiles and similar weapon systems.
  • The intelligence sub-stream will examine intelligence, information and other allied information.

About IAF:

  • Indian Air Force of India (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Empire which honoured India's aviation service during World War II with the prefix Royal.
  • IAF ranks as the fourth-best air force in the world.
  • With the government's transition to a Republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed.
  • The present Commander-in-Chief of IAF is Draupadi Murmu.
  • The Chief of Air Staff, an air chief marshal, is a four-star officer and is responsible for the bulk of operational command of the Air Force.
  • The present Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) is Air Marshal V R Chaudhari, PVSM, AVSM, VM.


The motto of IAF is ‘Touching the Sky with Glory’.

  • This motto is to remind the IAF to reach for the sky and overwhelm their adversaries.
  • Note: The phrase, 'Touching the Sky with Glory’, has been taken from the Gita said by Krishna to Arjuna before the Kurukshetra War.