| Squadron Leader Dhruv Kumar (28186) Flying (Pilot) is on the posted strength of a Su-30 MKI squadron since 31 Mar 08. On 09 Feb 11, he was detailed to fly as a Combat Air Patrol Leader in an Offensive Sweep Vs Combat Air Patrol mission (Combat sortie) during Dark Night in local flying area at a distance of 70 km from Bareilly Air Base. During the exercise, he noticed that all Cockpit Instrument Displays, Head Up Display, Up Front Control Panel and the Mission Computer Data Interface Panel had blanked off. The Standby Compass and Artificial Horizon were also stuck. Thus, there was no reference of attitude or direction available to him. He correctly identified the emergency as a failure of the interface unit between the Mission Computer and the cockpit, and commenced priority recovery to Base. This is the first instance that an emergency of this nature has manifested in failure of even the standby instruments on the Su-30 MKI, which are critical for the emergency recovery of the aircraft. Faced with the challenge of flying in Dark Night with absolutely no attitude and heading reference available, he took the help of limited visual cues for maintaining attitude and effected a safe recovery and landing at Bareilly. in doing so, Sqn Ldr Dhruv exhibited exceptional flying skill, courage and airmanship to recover the aircraft and execute a safe landing in one of the most challenging conditions which can be experienced by an aviator. In face of such a grave danger, any error of judgment or flying skill would have certainly resulted in Spatial Disorientation and a catastrophic accident. Post flight investigation revealed a major failure of the Mission Computer Interface system. Simultaneous failures of Air Data System, Laser Inertial Nav System and Attitude & Heading Reference System were also confirmed in Flight Data recorder. Such an extreme emergency considered to be very rare which has not even been documented by the Original Equipment Manufacturer. Sqn Ldr Dhruv Kumar displayed grit, indomitable spirit, exceptional professionalism and flying skill to safely recover an aircraft in dire emergency. For act of exceptional courage and professionalism, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Dhruv Kumar.