Air Marshal Satish C Lal was born in Delhi on 19th Dec 1927. Son of a pioneer aviator, Bhagat B Lal. He was attracted towards aviation in his early days. He took to flying as a hobby and obtained Private Pilots License ‘A’. After graduation he joined the IAF on 4th July 1949 in the 1st Technical Signals Officer’s Course at the Air Force Technical College, Jalahalli. He was commissioned in the Tech/Sigs Branch of the IAF on 1st Jan 1950.
As a junior officer he displayed great enthusiasm in his professional work and was know for his expertise as a practical Aeronautical and Electronic Engineer. He underwent a specialist course at Marconi College, Chelmsford, UK in 1954. Later during 1963-64 he participated in a training programme with the USAF on Communication and Electronics and Forward Propagation Tropo-Scatter Systems at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, USA.
Air Marshal Lal, during a career spanning 37 years held many important technical and managerial assignments. During period 1976-1982 he was appointed Director Plan ADGES, Chief Systems Engineer RCPO and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Systems) at Air Headquarters. In Jan 1980 he was appointed Project Director RCPO in the Ministry of Defense during which tenure he was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal. As Chief Executive of the Radar and Communication Project he implemented the Air Defense Ground Environment System Plan of the IAF. The task included system design, engineering, and operational trials of High Power 3D static and mobile Radars, Automatic Data Handling systems, Tropo/LOS Communications Systems and Voice and Tape Relay Centers. During this period he concurrently held the post of Member Secretary Radar and Communication Board, headed by the Prime Minister.
In Jan1982, Air Marshal Lal was appointed Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance at Air Headquarters, In this capacity he was the Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Air Staff in-Charge of all engineering and logistic activities and establishments in the Indian Air Force.
In February 1985, he was appointed Air Officer Commanding-in Chief Maintenance Command. IAF with Headquarters at Nagpur.
In recognition of his significant and valuable service to the IAF and the Nation he was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal and was appointed Honorary ADC to the President.
He retired from the IAF on 31st December 1985.