Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja

Service No & Branch 17864 F(P)
Date of Birth: 22 May 1963 Commissioned: 14 Jun 1985 Course: 135 Course
Service End: Died in Service 27 May 1999 (36 Years age) Aircraft Accident Nick Name :
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Sqn Ldr : 14 Jun 1996
Training and Other Courses Attended
66 NDA (Cadet) - 01 Jun 1984
Badges Qualified
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "A Ahuja"
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

- 27 May 1999Sqn LdrNo.17 SquadronBhatinda Flight Commander
01 Jan 1996 - 01 Jan 1998Sqn LdrFlying Instructors SchoolTambaram Flying Instructor
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Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 1
Vir Chakra
Sqn LdrAjay Ahuja17864 F(P)Award Date 27 May 1999Announced 15 Aug 1999
Details :

Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja (17864-A) Flying (Pilot) was the Flight Commander of a MiG–21 Squadron inducted Srinagar for the Kargil Operations. On 27th May 1999, he was planned to lead a two aircraft mission for Photo reconnaissance of enemy positions in the Batalik Sector. As he was getting airborne he was informed that Flight Lieutenant Nachiketa had ejected in the vicinity of Muntho Dhalo. Squadron Leader Ahuja immediately realized the necessity of locating and recovering the downed pilot. He changed his mission profile and set course towards Muntho Dhalo. Despite being told that surface to air missiles were being fired in the area, Squadron Leader Ahuja carried out orbits to try and pinpoint the location of the crashed aircraft and pilot. He sent his No. 2 back to base but himself continued the search, ignoring the threat to his own life.

By sheer perseverance, he was able to locate the crash site and transmitted this information to the rescue helicopters. Unfortunately, at this stage, his own aircraft was hit by a surface to air missile. With exemplary presence of mind and cool professionalism, he attempted to nurse the aircraft towards a safer area. But when the aircraft engine flamed out Squadron Leader Ahuja had no choice but to eject. He ejected safely and had the presence of mind to transmit his last recorded ground position.

On 28th May 1999 the body of Squadron Leader Ahuja was handed over to Indian authorities. The body bore two bullet injuries.

Squadron Leader Ahuja displayed exceptional courage in going beyond the call of duty while searching for a downed brother officer.

Unit : 17 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India , 26th January 2000 - No.18 - Pres/2000 dated 11th March 2000

Accidents and Incidents: 2

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
01 Dec 1989MiG-23 BNFlt Lt Ajay Ahuja
31 SqnOver Range
27 May 1999MiG-21 MC-1539Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja +
17 SqnSD by Pak Army Anza
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.