The Four Intrepid IAF Fighter Pilots Who Form Team 'Gaganyaan'


(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, 27 Feb (IANS) With Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announcing the names of the four IAF officers who will be on India's Gaganyaan mission, the Indian Air Force has revealed the background and credentials of of Group Captains Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Ajit Krishnan, and Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla.

Group Captain Nair, born in Kerala's Thiruvazhiyad on August 26, 1976, is an alumnus of the NDA and recipient of Sword of Honour at the Air Force Academy. Commissioned in the IAF's fighter stream on December 19, 1998, he has flown variety of aircraft including Su-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Hawk, Dornier, An-32, etc.

A Category A flying instructor and test pilot with approx 3000 hrs of flying experience, he has commanded a premier fighter Su-30 squadron.

Group Captain Nair is also the alumnus of the United States Staff College and Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, and Flying Instructors School (FIS), Tambaram.

Group Captain Krishnan, born in Chennai on April 19, 1982, is alumnus of the NDA and recipient of President's Gold Medal and Sword of Honour at the Air Force Academy. Commissioned in the IAF's fighter stream on June 21, 2003, he has flown variety of aircraft including Su-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-21, Mig-29, Jaguar, Dornier, An-32 etc.

A flying instructor and test pilot with approx 2,900 hrs of flying experience, he is also alumnus of the DSSC, Wellington.

Group Captain Pratap was born in Allahabad (now Prayagraj) on July 17, 1982. Alumnus of the NDA, he was commissioned in the IAF's fighter stream on December 18, 2004 and has also flown variety of aircraft including Su-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Jaguar, Hawk, Dornier, An-32 etc. He is also a flying instructor and test pilot with approx 2,000 hrs of flying experience.

Wing Commander Shukla was born in Lucknow on October 10, 1985. Commissioned on June 17, 2006 in the IAF's fighter stream, he is a fighter combat leader and test pilot with approx 2,000 hrs of flying experience on a variety of aircraft including Su-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Jaguar, Hawk, Dornier, An-32 etc.

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