Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani

Service No & Branch 10440 F(P) (Orig: GD(P)) Stream :Fighters
Date of Birth: -- --- ---- Commissioned: 29 Oct 1966 Course: 96 Course
Service End: Retired on 31 Oct 2006 Superannuated Nick Name :
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Fg Offr : 29 Oct 1967Wg Cdr : 30 Aug 1985Gp Capt : 01 Aug 1989Acting Air Cmde : 11 Oct 1996
Air Cmde : 01 Feb 1996AVM : 01 Sep 2000Air Marshal : 01 Nov 2002
Training and Other Courses Attended
27 NDA (Cadet) - 07 Dec 19648 FCL (Flt Lt) - 01 Nov 197638 DSSC (Sqn Ldr) - 20 Nov 1982
Badges Qualified
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "A Bhavnani"

Wg Cdr

Air Cmde

Air Mshl
Notes:1)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 2)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Appointments, Postings & Other Service Particulars

29 Oct 1966 - 01 May 1967Plt OffrNo.220 SquadronPune Squadron Pilot
01 Mar 1967 - 31 Dec 1967Fg OffrOperational Training UnitJamnagar Conversion
01 Jan 1968 - 31 Dec 1968Fg OffrNo.14 SquadronKalaikunda Squadron Pilot
01 Jan 1969 - 01 Jul 1972Fg OffrNo.4 Squadron Squadron Pilot
01 Jul 1972 - 01 Aug 1974Flt LtNo.45 Squadron Squadron Pilot
01 Aug 1974 - 01 Jul 1976Flt LtNo.28 Squadron Squadron Pilot
01 Nov 1976 - 01 Oct 1978Flt LtTactics and Combat Development EstablishmentJamnagar Directing Staff
01 Nov 1978 - 31 Dec 1980Sqn LdrIraq AFIraq Flying Instructor
01 Dec 1981 - 01 May 1993Sqn LdrNo.37 Squadron Flight Commander
01 May 1983 - 01 Oct 1984Wg CdrDefence Services Staff CollegeWellington Directing Staff
01 Nov 1984 - 01 Jun 1985Wg CdrFrance Mirage Team Leader
29 Jun 1985 - 22 Jun 1987Wg CdrNo.7 SquadronGwalior Commanding Officer
01 Jul 1987 - 31 Dec 1988Wg CdrAir Head QuartersDelhi Deputy Director (Air Defence)
01 Feb 1989 - 21 Jan 1992Gp CaptTactics and Combat Development EstablishmentJamnagar Commandant
01 Mar 1992 - 01 Jul 1993Gp CaptAir Head QuartersDelhi JDPO
01 Aug 1993 - 30 Sep 1996Gp CaptEmbassy of India, SwedenStockholm Defence Attache
01 Oct 1996 - 31 Dec 1996Air CmdeAir Head QuartersDelhi Director, Offensive Operations
12 Jan 1997 - 29 Mar 1998Air Cmde40 WingMaharajpur (Gwalior) Air Officer Commanding
30 Mar 1998 - 01 Nov 2000Air CmdeAir Head QuartersDelhi Air Assistant to Chief of Air Staff
01 Aug 2000 - 31 Oct 2002AVMAir Head QuartersDelhi Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Personnel Officers
01 Nov 2002 - 31 Jan 2003Air MarshalEastern Air CommandShillong Senior Air Staff Officer
01 Feb 2003 - 03 Jul 2004Air MarshalCentral Air CommandAllahabad Senior Air Staff Officer
12 Jul 2004 - 18 Aug 2005Air MarshalStrategic Forces CommandDelhi Commander in Chief
22 Aug 2005 - 31 Oct 2006Air MarshalPSO: Operations, Air HQDelhi Vice Chief of Air Staff
Incomplete Information? Additions? Corrections? Please download Template File and follow instructions.

Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 3
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg Cdr Ajit Bhavnani10440 F(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 1987
Details :

Wing Commander Ajit Bhavnani has been posted as Commanding Officer of a premier frontline squadron since 28 Jan 85. As Commanding Officer of the first Vajra squadron of the IAF, his performance has been truly outstanding. Having successfully led the team of Vajra pilots trained in France, he achieved the rare distinction of planning and successfully leading the first ferry of seven Vajra aircraft from France to India. Subsequently, he was involved in the successful ferry of three more batches of Vajra aircraft flown in by his squadron. Having assumed command of his squadron, he shou ldered the major responsibility of forming the squadron and inducting a very modern and sophisticated aircraft into the IAF. With his outstanding professional ability, he performed the arduous task in the most methodical and distinctive manner.

Overcoming all the initial hurdles, he organized the available resources to build his unit into a highly operational and efficient outfit within a very short period of time. Despite severe handicaps of shortage of manpower and equipment, he motivated his squadron personnel exceptionally well which resulted in heavy flying activity. Working relentlessly, he ushered in a new era of concepts and tactics related to fighter operations. His selfless devotion to work has been an exemplary source of inspiration and motivation for his personnel. Due to his deep personal involvement and exceptionally high level of professional competence, the entire Vajra force has reached a distinctively high level of operational efficiency.

As Commanding Officer, he has displayed an exceptional high level of professional skill.

For his outstanding achievements as Commanding Officer of the first Vajra Squadron, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva medal to Wing Commander Ajit Bhavnani.

Unit : 7 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India dated 25th April 1987 - No.37-Pres/87 dated 26th January 1987
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Gp CaptAjit Bhavnani10440 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1991Announced 26 Jan 1991
Details :

Group Captain Ajit Bhavnani has been in command of Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment since the 1st February, 1989. He was instrumental in bringing about major changes in the training curriculum of TACDE. The FCL course which had remained unchanged since its inception in 1973, was divided into specific streams for Fighter Combat Loaders and Fighter Strike Loaders. With the fast changing air environment and with the induction of sophisticated role dedicated combat aircraft, the IAF needed to channelise its combat training towards specialist role orientation. Additionally, for the very first time in the IAF, courses for fighter controllers were introduced. This significant increase in the content and versatility of training task at TACDE necessitated major changes in the training programme and syllabi. With minimal additional resources, these changes were successfully brought about in a highly professional and disciplined manner, under the able guidance and direction of Group Captain Ajit Bhavnani.

The officer has further initiated a series of innovative and urgent steps to redefine functioning of TACDE at appropriate levels. As a result of these steps, TACDE has been involved at various levels of lAF's operational functioning. At the field level, his team has interacted regularly with combat pilots and controllers, visiting all fighter bases and disseminating latest tactics, techniques and procedures which have recently been developed by TACDE. Greater emphasis on development tasks has been a hallmark of TACDE's recent achievements. At the planning level, they have been involved in providing guidelines for the operational plans at the Command Headquarters and at important forums.

Group Captain Ajit Bhavnani, VM has, thus, rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Unit :
Reference : GoI19910126
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air MarshalAjit Bhavnani10440 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 2005Announced 26 Jan 2005
Details :

Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani AVSM VM (10440) F(P) was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force on 29 October 1966. During his distinguished service of 40 years he has held a wide range of important operational and staff appointments which include Defence Attaché to Sweden, Commanding Officer of a premier Air Force base, Director of Offensive Operations, Air Advisor to the CAS and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel Officers). He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, where he served as an Instructor. He has flown a large number of combat aircraft in the lAF's inventory, and has also gained proficiency in flying helicopters and transport aircraft. Since the early years of his service, his exceptional flying skills and disciplined approach were recognized at every level. During the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict, he flew 22 operational missions on MiG-21 aircraft into enemy territory, thereby making a significant contribution to the war effort. For his dedicated efforts and high level of professional skills, he was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal in 1987 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 1991.

In 1984, Air Marshal Bhavnani was selected to lead the IAF team to France to fly the newly acquired state-of-the-art, Mirage 2000 aircraft. On return, he commanded the Battle Axes Squadron and equipped it with the new aircraft and was responsible for laying a strong foundation for the lAF's Mirage fleet. During his tenure as Commanding Officer of prestigious Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE), he introduced a wide range of changes in the curriculum, leading to significant improvements in lAF's combat skills and orientation.

As SASO HQ CAC, sustained efforts made by Air Marshal Bhavnani ensured successful induction and operationalisation of the newly acquired Flight Refueling Aircraft, 1L-78. In February 2003 he successfully coordinated the first ever Indo-French combat exercise held at Gwalior, involving modern combat aircraft. Later, he also successfully handled the task of planning and conducting the first Indo-US air combat exercise at Gwalior in October 2003. His meticulous preparation and expert professional guidance resulted in the successful conduct of this exercise, which brought in extraordinary accolades from the US Air Force.

In his present assignment as Commanderin-Chief of the Strategic Forces Command, Air Marshal Bhavnani has initiated several important measures to optimize the integration of forces and command and control of the strategic systems with a view to increase the operational potential of the Strategic Forces.

Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani AVSM VM has thus rendered distinguished service of an exceptional order.

Unit : SFC
Reference : GoI20050126

Accidents and Incidents: 1

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
01 Mar 1971MiG-21 FLFlt Lt Ajit Bhavnani
4 SqnDNE. LL Sortie, Bird
The data in the header section of this page comes from the Gazette of India - Click here to see the source
Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.