Service No : 17864 F (P)

Date of Birth : May 22, 1963

Place of birth : Kota Dist (Rajastan)

Last Rank : Squadron Leader

Unit : 152 HU

Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force

Awards : Vir Chakra

Martyrdom : May 28, 1999

Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja VrC

Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja was born on 22 May 1963 in Kota, Rajasthan. He completed his schooling at Saint Paul’s Senior Secondary School, Kota. He later graduated from the National Defence Academy and was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 14 June 1985 in the IAF. By 1999, Sqn Ldr Ahuja had completed about 15 years of service and had evolved into a professionally competent pilot and a committed air warrior.


As a fighter pilot, Sqn Ldr Ahuja flew the MiG-23 fighter-bomber and MiG-21 variants and had a  flying experience of over 1,000 hours. He was also a qualified flying Instructor and was extremely popular among his pupils owing to his patience and cheerful nature. Sqn Ldr Ahuja had moved to the Airbase at Bhatinda, on posting in 1997. He had just taken over as the Flight Commander of Squadron No.17, Golden Arrows, a specialist photo-reconnaissance squadron, when the Kargil War broke out in May 1999.


Kargil War Air Operation: 27 May 1999


On 27 May 1999, as part of “Operation Safed Sagar” in Kargil, a photo reconnaissance mission was launched over the Indian side of the line of control in Kashmir. Just as he was about to take flight, Sqn Ldr Ahuja was informed that a fellow officer, Flt Lt Nachiketa had ejected from his MiG-27 aircraft after an engine flame out. Sqn Ldr. Ajay Ahuja took it upon himself to locate his fellow officer and stayed over infiltrator-held positions to help the rescue attempts. Despite the threat of surface-to-air missiles in the area he stayed on and by sheer perseverance, could locate the possible location of the crashed aircraft and the pilot.


Sqn Ldr Ahuja passed on the crucial information to the mission control room to enable them to launch the rescue helicopters. However, his MiG-21MF fighter, C-1539, was hit by a shoulder-fired FIM-92 Stinger missile. Sqn Ldr Ahuja gave a radio call – “Hercules, something has hit my plane, the possibility of missile hit cannot be ruled out, I am ejecting over…(location).”.With exemplary presence of mind and professionalism, he attempted to steer the aircraft toward a safer area. But when the aircraft engine flamed out, Sqn Ldr Ahuja had no choice but to eject. He ejected safely and had the presence of mind to transmit his last recorded ground position. But under dubious circumstances, he got killed and was martyred. The body of Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja was handed over to Indian authorities by Pakistan on 28 May 1999. Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja displayed exceptional courage in going beyond the call of duty for carrying out the assigned search mission.


Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra”  posthumously for his undaunted courage, professionalism and supreme sacrifice. Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja is survived by his wife Smt Alka Ahuja and son Ankush.

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  • Vikas Chandra

    2023at4:03 pm Reply

    A big salute to you Sir…

    • Santosh kumar saini

      2023at9:19 am

      जय हिन्द

  • Ashish jain

    2023at4:03 pm Reply

    Proud on Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja as kotaiets.

  • Anupam Dube

    2023at4:04 pm Reply

    Every Indian is proud of you. My salute to you.

  • Bency P Jacob

    2023at4:04 pm Reply

    How can I forget Ajay who was a dear course mate in NDA. All members of 66 NDA remember him fondly and are in touch with his widow Mrs Alka Ahuja.

  • GP Capt UK Gorain

    2023at4:05 pm Reply

    A very lively officer. My memory of togetherness with him at Jamnagar is still fresh. May God give his family member all the strength and happiness.

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