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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Air marshal Arup Raha to be next IAF chief

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 30, 2013
First Published: 01:07 IST(30/10/2013) | Last Updated: 02:01 IST(30/10/2013)

Air marshal Arup Raha will take over as the next chief of the Indian Air Force, replacing Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, who retires on December 31.

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Raha, who is currently the IAF's vice chief, will have a tenure of three years in the top job at a time when the air force is expected to make some critical acquisitions, including finalising a $20-billion deal to buy 126 modern fighter planes.

Though it was widely-known in the defence circles that Raha would succeed Browne, the government made a formal announcement on Tuesday.

A well-experienced fighter pilot, Raha was commissioned into the IAF in December 1974.

One of his topmost priorities will be to speed up the acquisition of new fighter planes for the IAF. India had last January picked French firm Dassault Aviation's Rafale fighter jet over Eurofighter's Typhoon in a hotly-contested contract to equip the IAF with 126 advanced combat aircraft.

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