New Delhi: Air Marshal Arup Raha, an ace combat pilot, on Friday took over as the chief of Delhi-based Western Air Command.

Raha, who is tipped to be the successor of Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, was commanding the Allahabad-based Central Air Command.

Raha was commissioned in the Flying Branch of the IAF in Dec 1974. He has to his credit nearly 3400 hours of flying, mainly on fighter aircraft, IAF officials said on Friday.

An experienced Qualified Flying Instructor, Raha has served as one of the Directing Staff at Flying Instructors School, (FIS), Tambaram, Tamil Nadu as well as at the Gwalior-based Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE).

"From 1999 to 2001, he was appointed as the Military and Air Attaché in the Indian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine.

His operational assignments include the Command of MiG-29 Squadron and he was also the Station Commander of Air Force Station, Bathinda in Punjab during Operation Parakram," they said.

Raha also served as the Deputy Commandant of Hyderabad-based Air Force Academy.

An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College and the National Defence College, Delhi, Raha was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1995 and 2009 respectively for distinguished service.


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