Government officials told IANS that Browne, who is the present IAF vice chief, was cleared to head the air force by the Cabinet Committee on Appointments recently. He will succeed present chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, who will retire in July.
Commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on June 24, 1972, Browne has flown a variety of fighter jets, including the vintage Hunter, all variants of MiG-21s, Jaguar and SU-30MKI.
He has earlier served as the commander of the Delhi-based Western Air Command, IAF's sword arm. He was also the deputy chief of air staff handling the IAF operations at the air headquarters.
A National Defence Academy alumnus, Browne has also instructed at Defence Services Staff College ( DSSC )) at Wellington in Tamil Nadu and at the Tactics and Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) in Gwalior.
A copy of the MoD's official press release is pasted below for your consumption.
AIR MARSHAL NAK BROWNE TO BE NEXT AIR CHIEF
New Delhi: Vaisakha 30, 1933
May 20, 2011
Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal NAK Browne will be the next Chief of Air Staff on the retirement of Air Chief Marshal PV Naik from government service on July 31, 2011.
Born in Allahabad on 15 December 1951, Air Marshal NAK Browne was commissioned into the Fighter stream of Indian Air Force on 24 June 1972. With about 3100 hours of flying to his credit, he has had a varied operational experience that included flying Hunters, all variants of MiG-21s, Jaguars and SU-30s.
An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune, he is a Fighter Combat Leader, who has also served as an instructor at the Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) - a premiere flying establishment of the IAF and the Tri-services Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington.
A graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Albama, USA, he had trained with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the United Kingdom, on Jaguar aircraft and went on to command a Jaguar Squadron subsequently.
During his long and distinguished career spanning 38 years, he has held various operational and staff appointments that include - Joint Director at Air War Strategy Cell at Air Headquarters, Chief Operations Officer and Air Officer Commanding of a SU-30 base, Air-I at New Delhi based Western Air Command (WAC) and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence) at Air Headquarters.
He was also responsible for establishing the Indian Defence Wing in Tel Aviv, Israel in April 1997 where he served as the Defence Attache till July 2000. From March 2007 to 31 May 2009 he functioned as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (DCAS) at Air Headquarters and was responsible for lAF's major Modernization Programmes.
Before taking over as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) at Air Headquarters on 01 January 2011, he was the AOC-in-C of Western Air Command, lAF's most vital operational Command. Under his command and personal supervision, the first ever landing of an AN-32 (fixed wing aircraft) took place at Nyoma, advance Landing Ground (ALG), located at an altitude of 13,300 feet on 18 September 2009.
Air Marshal Browne is recipient of Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM), Vayu Sena Medal (VM) and is appointed as one of the Honorary ADCs to the President of India.
Married to Mrs Kiran Browne, they have a son, Omar, a fighter pilot in the IAF and a daughter Alisha, who is working with a multinational company.