Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria on Monday took charge as the new Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) as Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa demitted office.
RKS Bhadauria is the 26th Chief of the Air Staff.
RKS Bhadauria was commissioned into the Fighter Stream of Indian Air Force in June 1980 and has held various Command, Staff and Instructional appointments at various levels including the present one as Vice Chief of Air Staff.
RKS Bhadauria is the man behind Rafale negotiation deal. He was heading contract negotiations with France for the Rafale fighter jet acquisition during his tenure as Deputy Chief of Air Staff. RKS Bhadauria looked after complex negotiations of the Rafale deal overcoming significant hurdles and finally ensuring the signing of the deal in September 2016. It is due to RKS Bhadauria's role that the first tail number of Rafale is RB008. The first lot of the 36 fighters ordered for the Indian Air Force are scheduled to be delivered in October, 2019.
During his illustrious career, Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria was commended by the Chief of Air Staff in 1987 and has been awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 2002, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2013, Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2018 and appointed as Honorary Air Force ADC to the President of India.