Air Marshal Raghu Rajan (8997) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Fighter Pilot on 25 Dec 64. He has 3091h of accident free flying to his credit. He is an alumnus of Defence Service Staff College and National Defence College. He is a fighter combat leader and also a test pilot. During his distinguished service of over 38 years, he has held several challenging field, staff and instructional appointments, which include Chief Operations Officer at AF Station Srinagar, Commandant TACDE and SAASO at HQ MC. Presently, he is the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at Air Headquarters since 05 Jun 02.
As Chief Operations Officer, AF Station Srinagar during 89-91, when militancy gained ascendancy resulting in deterioration in the internal security scenario, he effectively integrated training of AD systems, Interceptor aircrafts, Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs), Radars and Mobile Observation Flights (MOFs) to maintain very high operational state. He also arranged integrated training for interdiction and Offensive Air Support roles for Airborne FAC and Army elements. Under his leadership, AF Station Srinagar was adjudged the best in operations in WAC in 1990. As Comdt, TACDE, he carried out a review of Op and annual training syllabi of all fighters units of IAF and also evolved tactics of strike aircraft for beyond visual range (BVR) engagements. It was during this time that the first ever night firepower demonstration was conducted at Sarmat Range involving fighters, tpts and heptrs. He commanded AF Station Jodhpur, which is one of the largest fighter airbases. During his tenure one of the fighter Sqns was adjudged the best fighter Sqn in IAF and two other Sqns based there were judged first and second in the SWAC inter Squadron Gunnery meet. The Mi-8 Sqn, Chetak were also adjudged the best helicopter Sqns. He encouraged local modification of Chetak, Mi-8, MiG23 and SAM units, thereby saving money and manhours. As Head of Air Wing training team at DSSC, he enhanced the quality of syllabi, introduced lectures and exercises on strategy and tactics and Capsules on Leadership and Logistics Management.
As Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, he is responsible for the planning, processing and progressing of the procurement of weapon systems and allied items for Air Force besides acting as a nodal authority for the Indian Air Force for the interface between the IAF, Ministry and Civil agencies in order to expedite the acquisitions. Under his able guidance, a concerted effort was made towards identification of infrastructural improvement in the Air Force and their staggered execution planned. Similarly, special emphasis has been given to planning and coordinating the medium and long-term requirement of Radar & Navigation Aids to improve the operational efficiency.
Air Marshal Raghu Rajan has thus rendered distinguished service of the most exceptional order.