No. 17 Squadron IAF

No. 17 Squadron (Golden Arrows) is a squadron of the Indian Air Force stationed at the Ambala Air Force Station as part of the Western Air Command.[2][3] The squadron was number-plated in 2016, but was resurrected in Ambala on 11 September 2019 with the Dassault Rafale.[4]

No. 17 Squadron
No. 17 Squadron IAF.jpg
Country India
Branch Indian Air Force
Garrison/HQAmbala Air Force Station
Nickname(s)"Golden Arrows"
Motto(s)Udayām Ajasram
Arise Forever
Commanding OfficerGroup Captain Rohit Kataria[1]
Aircraft flown
FighterDassault Rafale


No. 17 Squadron was raised in Ambala on 1 October 1951 under the command of Flight Lieutenant D.L. Springett.[4] It initially flew Harvard-II B. It was moved from the East to Delhi during the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War to provide air cover for the capital.[5]

It was awarded its President's Standard on 8 November 1988 at Palam.[6]

Affiliation with the Indian ArmyEdit

On 4th October 2021, the Squadron's affiliation with the Indian Army's Sikh Light Infantry regiment was formally signed at the Ambala Air Force Station.[7]

The Indian Army Chief M. M. Naravane and Air Commodore Tarun Chaudhry of 17 Squadron signed the charter of affiliation.[8]

Feature Film based on the Golden ArrowsEdit

A film is being produced on the Golden Arrows squadron based on the 1999 Kargil war, named 'Golden Arrows'. The film is dedicated to Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja who was flight commander of 17 Squadron, Golden Arrows. Wing commander Birender Singh Dhanoa was the Squadron Commander who later became the Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force. The film is being directed by Kushal Srivastava.[9][10]


Aircraft types operated by the squadron:

Aircraft Type From To Air Base
Harvard-II B 1 October 1951 October 1955 Ambala AFS[2][11]
de Havilland Vampire November 1955 1957
Hawker Hunter 1957 1975
MiG-21 1975 2016 Bathinda AFS[2][12]
Dassault Rafale 21 September 2019 Present Ambala AFS[4]


  1. ^ Bhalla, Abhishek (12 March 2021). "Commanding Officer of first Rafale squadron transferred after seven months". India Today. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Resurrection Ceremony for 17 Squadron 'GOLDEN ARROWS'". PIB India. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  3. ^ etc, Mottos, Raising Dates, Location. "Squadrons and Helicopter Units". Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "IAF resurrects 17 Squadron 'Golden Arrows' for Rafale". New Delhi. 10 September 2019. Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  5. ^ Indian Air Force in Wars by Air Vice Marshal Arun Kumar Tiwary
  6. ^ "Honour & Awards - Units - President Standards". Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Affiliation of IAF 17 Squadron with Armys Sikh Light Infantry regiment signed". Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Indian Army's Sikh Light Infantry regiment signs affiliation with IAF's 17 squadron in Ambala". Firstpost. 5 October 2021. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Film 'Golden Arrows' on life of former IAF Chief BS Dhanoa announced". Russia Herald.
  10. ^ "After Gunjan Saxena, another film on IAF announced; Golden Arrows to be based on former chief BS Dhanoa - Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 15 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Golden Arrows Complete 60 Years of Glorious Service to the Nation". 16 November 2011.
  12. ^ "IAF's Golden Arrows Squadron, led by Air Chief Dhanoa during Kargil war, to be resurrected for Rafale". 9 September 2019.