Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar

Service No & Branch 16378 F(P) Stream :Fighters
Date of Birth: -- --- ---- Commissioned: 11 Jun 1981 Course: 127 Course
Service End: Retired on 31 Oct 2019 Superannuated Nick Name :
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Sqn Ldr : 11 Jun 1992Wg Cdr : 12 May 1998Gp Capt : 10 May 2004Acting Air Cmde : 02 Feb 2010
Air Cmde : 02 Mar 2009AVM : 28 Dec 2011Air Marshal : 01 Jun 2015C-in-C : 01 Oct 2018
Training and Other Courses Attended
58 NDA (Cadet) - 01 Jun 1980
Badges Qualified
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "R Nambiar"


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

- Wg CdrFlight Test Squadron, ASTEBangalore Commanding Officer
22 Apr 2002 - 07 Jul 2003Wg CdrNo.1 SquadronGwalior Commanding Officer
01 Jun 2006 - 01 Jun 2009Gp CaptEmbassy of India, IsraelTel Aviv Defence Attache
- Air CmdeAir Head QuartersDelhi Principal Director (Offensive Operations)
31 Jan 2011 - 18 Dec 2011Air Cmde33 WingJamnagar Air Officer Commanding
- AVM1 Air Defence Control CentreDelhi Air Officer Commanding
28 Dec 2011 - 30 Jun 2014AVMAircraft and Systems Testing EstablishmentBangalore Commandant
01 Jun 2015 - 31 Aug 2015Air MarshalSouthern Air CommandTrivandrum Senior Air Staff Officer
31 Jul 2015 - Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment Commodore Commandant
01 Sep 2015 - 19 Jun 2016Air MarshalTraining CommandBangalore Senior Air Staff Officer
20 Jun 2016 - 28 Feb 2017Air MarshalEastern Air CommandShillong Senior Air Staff Officer
01 Mar 2017 - 30 Sep 2018Air MarshalPSO: Planning, Air HQDelhi Deputy Chief of Air Staff
01 Oct 2018 - 28 Feb 2019Air MarshalEastern Air CommandShillong Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
01 Mar 2019 - 31 Oct 2019Air MarshalWestern Air CommandDelhi Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
Incomplete Information? Additions? Corrections? Please download Template File and follow instructions.

Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 4
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg CdrRaghunath Nambiar16378 F(P)Award Date Announced 15 Aug 1999
Details :

Wg Cdr Raghunath Nambiar (16378-R) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as a Fighter Pilot in the Flying Branch on 11 Jun 81. He is on the posted strength of Air Force Station Gwalior since 12 May 98. He has flown 1820 hrs of accident free flying on the Mirage 2000 and holds the proud distinction of being the most experienced Mirage-2000 Pilot in the country.

On 24 June 99 this Officer was specially chosen to lead the first ever IAF operational delivery of an LGB. He was tasked to attack Tiger Hill which was defended by hostile enemy SAMs. The attack profile of a LGB requires the aircraft to descend below 2700 ft and exposes it to enemy fire. Despite this danger to his aircraft the pilot willingly descended to the required height and pressed home the attack. His attack on Tiger Hill at an enemy camp located at the peak was a direct hit and destroyed the entire camp. The videotapes of his attack clearly indicate the accuracy of the delivery and its devastating effect on the enemy. It is estimated that this attack was primarily responsible for the low casualty rate that the Indian Army suffered during the capture of Tiger Hill.

For his exceptional bravery, skill, dedication and courage under fire in the face of the enemy, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Raghunath Nambiar.

Unit : 7 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India dated 11th March 2000 - No.27-Pres/2000 dated 15th August 2000
Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg CdrRaghunath Nambiar16378 F(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 2003
Details :

Wing Commander Raghunath Nambiar (16378) F (P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 11 June 1981 and is presently held on the posted strength of ASTE, AF wef 24 Dec 2001. Prior to this, he was on deputation to NFTC, ADA from 23 Aug 1999 to 24 Dec 2001 as a Test Pilot. He participated in "Ops Vijay" and was awarded VM (G) for exceptional bravery, skill and courage.

He was standby pilot to undertake the first flight of the Light Combat Aircraft Technology Demonstrater-1 (LCA TD1). He carried out a number of engine ground runs, low and high speed taxi runs as preparation to fly the prototype. He along with the main pilot completed extensive simulator flying on the Real Time Simulator (RTS) and evaluated the control laws of the Quadruplex Digital Fly-by-Wire system. He followed this phase with in-depth evaluation of the redundancy management algorithms and avionics interface at the hardware­in­loop simulation facility known as the "Iron Bird". By the time the pilot in loop simulation ended on the Iron Bird Wg Cdr Nambiar and his teammates had uncovered 11 software deficiencies. These were rectified and fly-by-wire system was cleared for flight. He flew six flights on LCA TD1 from flight Nos. 6-12. Prior to the engine ground run phase Wg Cdr Nambiar played a leading role in the evolution and evaluation of the cockpit warning philosophy. Man machine interface aspects received the benefit of his vast flying experience on the Mirage 2000.

He flew the chase Mirage 2000 for the first six flights of LCA TD1. His presence in chase aircraft considerably boosted the confidence of the test pilot flying the LCA and enhanced flight safety.

From the fourth prototype onwards a new avionics standard cockpit is planned to be flown. Wg Cdr Nambiar has contributed in large measure to the evolution of this avionics standard. Cockpit Display symbologies, Up Front Control Panel (UFCP) for the HUD and ergonomics were the areas in which he worked assiduously for two years.

For this remarkable dedication, sincerity and enormous professional contribution to the crucial early phase of the flight test programme of the LCA, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Bar to Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Raghunath Nambiar, VM.

Unit : 1 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India dated 22nd March 2003 - No.43-Pres/2003 dated 26th January 2003
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
AVMRaghunath Nambiar16378 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 2015Announced 26 Jan 2015
Details : Citation / Details Not Available
Unit :
Reference :
Param Vishist Seva Medal
Air MarshalRaghunath Nambiar16378 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 2019Announced 26 Jan 2019
Details : Citation / Details Not Available
Unit :
Reference :

Accidents and Incidents: 1

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
17 Mar 1994Kiran HJT-16U-766Sqn Ldr Raghunath Nambiar
Sqn Ldr Arvind Sharma
ASTECr 11 km from Hosur

Additional Notes

Remarks: Blue Skies Podcast Note added: 2022-09-01
Blue Skies Podcast:S1Ep54 - Raghu Nambiar - Part 1: Mirage 2000 and LCA
Remarks: Blue Skies Podcast Note added: 2022-09-01
Blue Skies Podcast:S1Ep55 - Raghu Nambiar - Part 2: Mirage and LGBs in Kargil
Remarks: IDSA Note added: 2019-08-30
Remarks: Defence Squad Note added: 2021-01-11
Remarks: LF Talks Note added: 2020-08-09
Remarks: DD News Note added: 2019-08-03

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.