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Gen Anil Chauhan Visits ASTE and AFTPS in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Anil Chauhan, visited the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) and Air Force Test Pilots School (AFTPS) in Bengaluru today. He was accorded a ceremonial Guard of Honour and laid a wreath at the memorial honoring the supreme sacrifices made by Indian test crew and scientists during flight testing.

During his visit, Gen Chauhan was briefed on the ongoing trials at ASTE and the flight test training activities at AFTPS. He received an overview of the organizational roles of these unique institutions within the Indian Air Force (IAF) and toured the facilities, which included demonstrations of major indigenous projects as part of the Aatmnirbhar Bharat initiative and an inspection of the training infrastructure. The CDS also visited the ASTE museum, which houses artifacts depicting significant historical milestones over the past five decades of ASTE and AFTPS.

Gen Chauhan presided over the valedictory function of the 46th Flight Test Course conducted at AFTPS, where 17 students graduated. The event, hosted by ASTE, included the traditional Suranjan Das Dinner, during which graduating students and their spouses were awarded certificates of qualification. Five students received trophies for their outstanding performance in various categories. The awardees included:

  • Sqn Ldr A Berwal: Suranjan Das Trophy for Best Test Pilot
  • Sqn Ldr Kapil Yadav: CAS Trophy for Best Flight Evaluation
  • Sqn Ldr V Supriya: Maharaja Hanumanth Singhji Sword for Best Flight Test Engineer (FTE)
  • Sqn Ldr Rajnish Rai: Kapil Bhargava Trophy for Best in Ground Subjects
  • Lt Cdr Gaurav Tyagi: Dunlop Trophy for Most Promising FTE and Flight Evaluation

The ceremony was also attended by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Training Command of IAF and veteran test crew members. The academic overview and end-of-course report were presented by the Officer Commanding AFTPS, highlighting the institution’s critical role as a Centre of Excellence for flight test training for officers from the three services, Indian Coast Guard, HAL, DRDO, and friendly foreign nations.

In his valedictory address, Gen Chauhan praised the Commandant of ASTE and the staff of AFTPS for maintaining high standards of training in this niche field. He emphasized their crucial role in capability building and modernizing the Indian Air Force, as well as upgrading the nation’s military aviation environment. Congratulating the graduating officers, he stressed the importance of professional competence to meet quality and safety requirements for operational preparedness, urging them to continue striving for higher professional capability in their careers as test crew members.

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