Wing Commander Ajay Rathore (18258) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a Fighter pilot on 07 Jun 86. He has close to 4000 hrs of flying to his credit and is qualified on the Su-30 MKI, Su30K, MiG-27ML and MiG-23BN aircraft. A recipient of the Scudder Medal for standing first in the overall order of merit in the 55th Defence Services Staff Course, the officer is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has been commended by the Chief of the Air Staff for his dedication to duty.
The officer has ensured smooth induction and operationalisation of the latest variant of Su-30MKI aircraft into the IAF and has contributed immensely to the enhancement of work culture in his Squadron. It is due to his sheer hard work and thorough professional approach that the squadron has consistently performed well in all spheres of activity. Notwithstanding the attendant pressures of new inductions, he has flown nearly 550 hrs in the last year and half. He has shown immense courage, exceptional skill and determination to successfully undertake pioneering missions on the Su-30MKI aircraft, such as the search and successful location of the crashed naval Kamov helicopter (19-24 Aug 05), using the onboard sensors of the Su-30MKI, which led to the recovery of a survivor.
The Su-30MKI is being hailed as a 'first of its kind' project in which the best of Russian and western technologies have been synergised to produce one of the most potent fighter aircraft in the world. Utilising his exceptional knowledge of the integration aspects of the Su30MKI aircraft and analytical approach, Wing Commander Ajay Rathore has successfully spearheaded the indigenisation of the SAPFIR Mission Planning and Debrief System hardware of the aircraft, resulting in significant cost saving to the Indian Air Force (original Russian system costs US $70,000/- vis-ÃƒÂ -vis the proposed indigenised system cost of Rs. 3.5 lakhs). Additionally, using his unparalleled knowledge of Su-30MKI operations and systems, he has also been instrumental in the development of a desktop computer based Cockpit Procedure Trainer for the Su-30MKI aircraft, further development of which has now been handed over to Software Development Institute, IAF. The officer has also been actively involved in the User Evaluation Trials of the Su-30MKI aircraft, and through his analytical ability and foresight, has been able to resolve a number of development related issues pertaining to the aircraft.
For exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Ajay Rathore.