How to become a Fighter Pilot in Indian Air Force

 

How to join IAF as a Fighter Pilot

fighter jet

Want to join IAF as a Fighter Pilot? Read this article to get all the necessary details!

 

Do you want to build a career in Indian Air Force? Are you interested in the Flying branch of IAF? Do you want to become a Fighter Pilot in IAF? If the answers to the above mentioned questions are yes, this article will be of help to you in realizing your dream! Over here, I will discuss everything that you need to know about becoming a Fighter Pilot in the IAF. I will cover details like- job post details, eligibility criteria, important examinations, age limit, physical and medical standards etc.

 

Let us start by dealing with basic details about the job post of Fighter Pilot. Let us talk about the Flying Branch of IAF. The Flying Branch of IAF can be further divided into three sub branches- Fighter Planes, Transport Aircraft and Helicopters. So, if you want to become a Fighter Pilot, you must focus on that very first sub branch. The selection to that sub branch is made on the basis of aptitude of the candidate. Also note that as of now only male Officers are allowed to take on the post of a Fighter Pilot in IAF. Female Officers are usually given the duty of Flying transport aircraft.

 

Also read: Career in IAF; How to join IAF

 

Gender

As of now, only male Officers are allowed to become Fighter Pilots in IAF. Female Flying Officers (SSC Entry) are usually given Transport aircraft and Choppers. Hopefully, this scenario will change in future!

 

Update: According to stament released by the Defence Ministry of India, female pilots now will be allowed to don Combat roles in the IAF. First batch of Female Fighter Pilots is undergoing training and they are expected to be inducted in 2017. So, from now on, even female aspirants will be able to become Fighter pilots in the IAF.

 

Ways to become a Fighter Pilot in IAF

For male candidates, there are two ways to join the Flying Branch (and eventually become a Fighter Pilot) of IAF-

 

  • NDA Entry (after 12th Science with PCM subjects)
  • After Graduation (any 3 or 4 years long Graduation course along with 12th standard Science stream schooling with PCM subjects)

 

Let us check out the above mentioned entry modes one by one and find out important details about them-

 

• NDA (10+2) Entry

 

10+2 Science stream schooling with Physics and Mathematics subjects
16½ to 19 years
NDA examination (held by UPSC twice a year). Advertisements put on May and December months. Useful sites- upsc.gov.in and upsconline.nic.in

 

This entry mode is for students who are appearing in 12th standard Science stream (with Physics and Mathematics subjects) or those who have cleared it and are still within the age limit of 19 years (at the time when the course starts). NDA entrance examination is conducted by the UPSC twice a year. The advertisements are usually put on the months of- May and December. Aspirants may apply online using sites- upsc.gov.in and upsconline.nic.in.

 

After successfully applying, candidates will be called to appear for NDA written examination. Candidates who manage to clear this written examination are then called to appear for SSB (Services Selection Board) Interview.

 

The SSB Interview is a 2 Stage process. These two stages together are spread over more than 5 days! The first stage consists of Officer Intelligence Rating Test and Picture Perception and Discussion Test. This stage is held on the very first day of SSB Interview. Candidates who manage to clear this stage are then required to stay at the SSB Centre for 4 (or even 5) more days and undergo tests that fall under Stage 2.

 

Also read: How to become a Flying Officer in IAF after 12th Science

 

Stage 2 consists of series of tests, like- Psychological Tests, Group Tests (Physical and Mental tasks), GD, Interview and Conference. On the final day, Conference is held. It is during this time that a candidate is recommended or rejected by the Board. Those who manage to get recommended are then supposed to appear for PABT (Pilot Aptitude Battery Test). PABT is meant to test the potential of Flying Branch candidates.

 

Also read: Tips to clear PABT

 

Candidates who successfully clear PABT are then subjected to detailed Physical and Medical tests. Here are the important physical and medical standards set by the IAF-

 

Physical Standards (Basic)-

To join IAF, candidates, irrespective of the entry mode and educational qualifications, must satisfy a basic set of Physical standards. The list is quite long. But the main things that are checked are-

 

  • Weight and Height ratio
  • Good Physical and Mental health
  • Good hearing
  • Well developed chests (expansion should be at least 5cm after full inspiration)
  • Healthy Bones and Joints

 

For the entire list of Physical Standards’ criteria set by IAF, check out the charts provided below. You may click on the images to get an enlarged view. You may find the full set of Physical standards on the image. You may even save it for future use-

 

IAF Physical standards chart 1

First set of IAF’s Physical Standards. Click on this image to read! Click on image to enlarge!

 

IAF Physical standards chart 2

Second set of IAF’s Physical Standards. Click on image to enlarge it and read it!

 

Medical Standards (In case of Flying Branch)

In case of Flying Branch recruitment, additional set of Medical standards are also present, which a candidate has to satisfy. Some important tests and things checked as part of this Medical test are-

 

  • Anthropometric Measurements
  • Spinal Conditions
  • Vision (Eyesight requirements)
  • Occular Muscle Balance

 

I’ve compiled detailed charts that deals with all the above mentioned Medical standards and tests. You may click on the images, enlarge them and read details with ease! You may even save these images for future use!

 

IAF Medical standards- Anthropometric measurements and some diseases chart

IAF Medical standards chart (Anthropometric Measurements). Click on the image to enlarge it and read!

 

IAF Medical standards- spinal conditions

IAF Medical Standards chart (Spinal Conditions). Click on the image to enlarge and read it!

 

IAF Medical Standards- Vision

IAF Medical standards chart (Eyesight requirements). Click on the image to enlarge and read it!

 

IAF Medical Standards- Occular Muscle Balance

IAF Medical Standards chart (Occular Muscle Balance). Click on the image to enlarge and read it!

 

In the end, an all India Level Merit list is made. Candidates who manage to make it to this list after the Medical Examination are then selected to take part in Training program. These candidates will then undergo training to become Flying Officers in IAF and thus stand a chance of becoming Fighter Pilots after training!

 

• After Graduation (CDSE, AFCAT (SSC) and NCC Entry modes)

 

Graduation Degree (3 or 4 years long program from a Recognized University). Also 10+2 Science stream schooling (Physics and Mathematics subjects) is required in addition to Degree
20 to 24 years (at the time when the course starts). Candidate must be single
Examinations available- CDSE (held twice a year by UPSC) and AFCAT (held twice a year by IAF). In case of NCC entry also, AFCAT examination is available. CDSE advertisements are put on June and October months. Useful sites are- upsc.gov.in and upsconline.nic.in. AFCAT advertisements are put on June and December months. Useful site is- careerairforce.nic.in.

 

If one is unable to join IAF as a Fighter Pilot right after 12th (or while in 12th), one may try after Graduation too (or while in final year of Graduation program). There are three main Entry schemes available in front of Graduates- CDSE (Combined Defence Services Examination), NCC (it is a special entry for NCC cadets) and AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test).

 

CDS Examination is held by UPSC twice a year (like in the case of NDA entry). Advertisements are put up in the months of June and October by the UPSC. One may make use of upsc.gov.in and upsconline.nic.in sites to register online and appear for written examination.

 

AFCAT (SSC entry) Examination is held by the Indian Air Force. The Commission in this entry is SSC. AFCAT application advertisements are put out in the months of June and December and the examination is held twice a year (February and December). One may visit the site- careerairforce.nic.in to get more details.

 

Talking about NCC Entry, only cadets possessing Air Squadron NCC Senior Division ‘C’ Certificate are eligible to make use of this entry scheme. Eligible candidates are to apply through DG NCC or through their respective NCC Air Squadron. After applying, they will have to face the AFCAT examination only.

 

In case of both CDSE and AFCAT examinations, the first step is written examination. Candidates who manage to clear it are then called for SSB Interview. The following processes then takes place-

 

The SSB Interview is a 2 Stage process. These two stages together are spread over more than 5 days! The first stage consists of Officer Intelligence Rating Test and Picture Perception and Discussion Test. This stage is held on the very first day of SSB Interview. Candidates who manage to clear this stage are then required to stay at the SSB Centre for 4 (or even 5) more days and undergo tests that fall under Stage 2.

 

Also read: How to join IAF after Engineering

 

Stage 2 consists of series of tests, like- Psychological Tests, Group Tests (Physical and Mental tasks), GD, Interview and Conference. On the final day, Conference is held. It is during this time that a candidate is recommended or rejected by the Board. Those who manage to get recommended are then supposed to appear for PABT (Pilot Aptitude Battery Test). PABT is meant to test the potential of Flying Branch candidates.

 

Also read: How to become Flying Officer in IAF after B.Sc.

 

Candidates who successfully clear PABT are then subjected to detailed Physical and Medical tests. Here are the important physical and medical standards set by the IAF-

 

Physical Standards (Basic)-

To join IAF, candidates, irrespective of the entry mode and educational qualifications, must satisfy a basic set of Physical standards. The list is quite long. But the main things that are checked are-

 

  • Weight and Height ratio
  • Good Physical and Mental health
  • Good hearing
  • Well developed chests (expansion should be at least 5cm after full inspiration)
  • Healthy Bones and Joints

 

For the entire list of Physical Standards’ criteria set by IAF, check out the charts provided below. You may click on the images to get an enlarged view. You may find the full set of Physical standards on the image. You may even save it for future use-

 

IAF Physical standards chart 1

First set of IAF’s Physical Standards. Click on this image to read! Click on image to enlarge!

 

IAF Physical standards chart 2

Second set of IAF’s Physical Standards. Click on image to enlarge it and read it!

 

Medical Standards (In case of Flying Branch)

In case of Flying Branch recruitment, additional set of Medical standards are also present, which a candidate has to satisfy. Some important tests and things checked as part of this Medical test are-

 

  • Anthropometric Measurements
  • Spinal Conditions
  • Vision (Eyesight requirements)
  • Occular Muscle Balance

 

Also read: IAF Physical/Medical Standards and requirements (all details)

 

I’ve compiled detailed charts that deals with all the above mentioned Medical standards and tests. You may click on the images, enlarge them and read details with ease! You may even save these images for future use!

 

IAF Medical standards- Anthropometric measurements and some diseases chart

IAF Medical standards chart (Anthropometric Measurements). Click on the image to enlarge it and read!

 

IAF Medical standards- spinal conditions

IAF Medical Standards chart (Spinal Conditions). Click on the image to enlarge and read it!

 

IAF Medical Standards- Vision

IAF Medical standards chart (Eyesight requirements). Click on the image to enlarge and read it!

 

IAF Medical Standards- Occular Muscle Balance

IAF Medical Standards chart (Occular Muscle Balance). Click on the image to enlarge and read it!

 

In the end, an all India Level Merit list is made. Candidates who manage to make it to this list after the Medical Examination are then selected to take part in Training program. These candidates will then undergo training to become Flying Officers in IAF and thus stand a chance of becoming Fighter Pilots after training!

 

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5 Comments

  1. VINAY CHAVHAN October 13, 2015
  2. AYUSH BHARDWAJ January 3, 2016
  3. AYUSH BHARDWAJ January 3, 2016
  4. Afzal ansari January 28, 2016
  5. J.Anil kumar April 23, 2016