India announces four IAF fighter pilots for Team ‘Gaganyaan’

FROM LEFT: Gp Capt Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Gp Capt Ajit Krishnan, Gp Capt Angad Pratap & Wg Cdr Shubhanshu Shukla from Indian Air Force.

iNDICA NEWS BUREAU–

India on Tuesday announced the names of the four Air Force officers who will be on the country’s Gaganyaan mission. To accompany the announcement, the Indian Air Force (IAF) revealed the background and credentials 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 National Defense Academy (NDA) and a recipient of Sword of Honor 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 nearly 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 nearly 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 approximately 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 approximately 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.