New Delhi: Air chief marshal Fali Homi Major today became the first helicopter pilot to don the mantle of the chief of the Indian air staff, with air chief marshal SP Tyagi retiring from service. ACM Fali Major said that his thrust would be on shoring up the falling fighter strength of the country and also pushing up the pace of modernisation in the force.
In this context, he said that the international tenders for purchase of 126 medium range multi role combat aircraft (MRCA) would be "out soon."
In his opening address to the service, traditionally made through an 'order of the day' ACM Fali Major asked the country's air warriors to work towards transforming IAF into an "aerospace force".
"It is only through the employment of space-based applications that we can be more effective beyond our shores" Major said. "Hardware may give us the capabilities, but it is the man behind the machine that can give us the winning edge," he said.
An ace chopper pilot, ACM Fali Major has the distinction of logging 7,765 flying hours. In his time ACM Fali Major has commanded helicopter units both in Siachen and during IPKF operations in Sri Lanka for which he won a Vayu Seva medal (gallantry).