Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has taken over as the 27th Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF). On Thursday, he replaced Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. Bhadauria retired on this day. Till now Chaudhari was the Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force. As Deputy Chief, Chaudhari was closely associated with the Rafale program. He was the head of the bilateral high level group monitoring the progress of the fighter jet project in France.
Chaudhari has been a student of National Defense Academy (NDA). He is also a graduate from Defense Services Staff College. His full name is Vivek Ram Chaudhari. He became the 45th Vice Chief of Air Staff on 1 July 2021, succeeding Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora.
Chaudhari was commissioned into the Indian Air Force on 29 December 1982 as a fighter pilot. He is a qualified flight instructor. He has over 3800 hours of flying experience on various fighter aircraft including MiG-21, MiG-23MF, MiG-29 and Sukhoi-30 MKI.
Air Chief Mshl VR Chaudhari took over command of the #IndianAirForce as its 27th Chief from Air Chief Mshl RKS Bhadauria on 30 Sep. Air Chief Mshl Chaudhari, commissioned in Dec 82 in the fighter stream of #IAF, was the #VCAS prior to taking over as #CAS pic.twitter.com/QVnreNgQ8L
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 30, 2021
Chaudhari has served in various field positions including commanding a MiG-29 Squadron, commanding a forward base and later commanding Air Force Station Pune. He has also worked as a DSCSC Instructor at DSCC Wellington as well as Lusaka, Zambia.
He has served as Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personal Officer) and later as Deputy Chief of Air Staff at Air Headquarters, Vayu Sena Bhawan, New Delhi. He has also served as Senior Air Staff Officer, Eastern Air Command from October 2019 to July 2020. After Bhadauria’s retirement, he has become the 27th Chief of the Air Staff. During his career, VR Chaudhari has been awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 2004, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2015 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2021 for his service. He is counted among the very sharp officers.