Arup Raha

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC (Bengali: অরূপ রাহা) was the 24th Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force and served from 31 December 2013 to 31 December 2016.[3] He was also the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee, a post occupied by India's senior-most military officer, who advises the government and ensures jointsmanship in the armed forces.[4][5]

Arup Raha

24th Chief of Air Staff
In office
31 December 2013  31 December 2016
Preceded byNorman Anil Kumar Browne
Succeeded byBirender Singh Dhanoa
37th Vice Chief of Air Staff
In office
1 July 2013  31 December 2013
Preceded byDinesh Chandra Kumaria
Succeeded byRavi Kant Sharma
Personal details
Born (1954-12-26) 26 December 1954[1]
Baidyabati, West Bengal, India
AwardsParam Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM)
Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM)
Vayusena Medal (VM)[2]
Military service
Branch/service Indian Air Force
Years of service1975-2016
Rank Air Chief Marshal[3]
CommandsWestern Air Command
Central Air Command
AFS Bathinda
AFS Adampur
47 Squadron IAF

Early life and education

Raha was born in a Bengali family on 26 December 1954 in the city of Baidyabati, an area under the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority which is in the Indian State of West Bengal. His father was a reputed doctor. He was educated at Sainik School Purulia (1970 batch).[6][7]

Military Training

Raha was trained at the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, India, from July 1970 to June 1973, and at the time of graduating from NDA in June 1973, he was awarded the Gold Medal for being the best cadet of the 44th NDA course. Subsequently, he did flying training on HT-2 and Kiran ( HJT-16 ) at the Air Force Academy, Hyderabad, before being commissioned into the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in Dec 1974. After flying Hunters in Operational Conversion Unit, he went on to fly Mig -21 aircraft.

Military career

Raha has flown a wide variety of combat and trainer aircraft. After initial training on the HAL HT-2, he has flown the MIG-21 and MIG-29 aircraft and has commanded a MiG-29 fighter squadron and two frontline airbases along India's Western front. As on 2 April 2010, he had 3,400 hours of flying experience.[5] Raha previously served as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force [8] and as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of the Western Air Command,[2] and that of the Central Air Command.[5] He has also served as the Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters, Western Air Command and Deputy Commandant at Air Force Academy, Hyderabad.[9]

Raha has held many important staff appointments in India and abroad.

Notable Appointments Held

Name of AppointmentRankInsigniaPeriod
Chief of Air StaffAir Chief Marshal31 December 2013 to 31 December 2016
Vice Chief of Air StaffAir Marshal1 July 2013 to 31 Dec 2013
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Air Command of the IAFAir Marshal1 June 2012 to 30 June 2013
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Central Air Command of the IAFAir Marshal2 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012
Senior Air Staff Officer at Western Air CommandAir Vice Marshaltill 1 Nov 2011
Directing Staff at Flying Instructors School,TambaramAir CommodoreUnknown
Commanding Officer of No: 47 Squadron IAF Black ArchersWing Commander8 June 1992 to 5 June 1994

Personal life

Arup Raha is married to Lily Raha and they have two children. The son, Atanu, is a commercial pilot who is married to Sanskriti Chatterjee Raha, a professional Kathakali dancer. The daughter, Anusree, is an Indian Economic Service officer and a TEDx speaker, and is married to Bodhisattwa Biswas, an alumnus of Indian School of Business.

Awards and decorations

Param Vishisht Seva Medal Ati Vishisht Seva Medal Vayu Sena Medal
Samanya Seva Medal
Operation Parakram Medal
Sainya Seva Medal
Videsh Seva Medal
50th Anniversary of Independence Medal
30 Years Long Service Medal
20 Years Long Service Medal
9 Years Long Service Medal


  1. "Arup Raha takes over as IAF chief - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 31 December 2013.
  2. "Central Air Command". Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  3. "Arup Raha takes over as IAF chief". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  4. "Arup Raha is new chief of staff". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  5. "Arup Raha takes over as senior Air Staff Officer at WAC - Times Of India". 2 April 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  7. Jayanta Gupta (26 January 2012). "Sainik School in Purulia turns 50, Air Marshal to be chief guest - Times Of India". Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  8. "Air Marshal Arup Raha to take over as IAF Vice Chief". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  9. "Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha's official profile". Archived from the original on 17 February 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
Military offices
Preceded by
Bikram Singh
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
31 July 2014 – 31 December 2016
Succeeded by
Sunil Lanba
Preceded by
Norman Anil Kumar Browne
Chief of the Air Staff (India)
31 December 2013 – 31 December 2016
Succeeded by
Birender Singh Dhanoa
Preceded by
Norman Anil Kumar Browne
Vice Chief of the Air Staff (India)
1 July 2013 – 31 December 2013
Succeeded by
Ravi Kant Sharma
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