|Year of Award||1999 (Independence Day)|
|Rank at time of Award||SQN LDR|
|Father's Name||Shri PL Ahuja|
17864 F(P) Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja was born On22 May 1963 in Kota, Rajasthan. He
completed hs schooling from Saint Paul’s Sr Sec School, Kota. He later graduated from the
NDA and was commissioned as a fighter pilot on 14 Jun 1985 in the IAF. By 1999, Sqn Ldr
Ajay Ahuja had completed about 15 years of service and had evolved into a professionally
competent pilot and a committed air warriors. As a fighter pilot, Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja flew the
MIG-23 fighter-bomber and MIG-21 variant 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 Ajay Ahuja has moved to the AIRBASE AT
Bhatinda, on posting in 1987. He had just taken over as the Fight Commander of Sqn No.
17, Golden Arrow’s a specialist photoreconnaissance sqn, when the Kargil War broken in
May 1999.On 27 May 1999, as part of operation Safed Sagar in Kargill, a photo
reconnaissance mission was launched ovr the Indian side of the line of control in Kashmir.
Just as he was about to take flight, Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja was informed that a fellow officer, Flt
Lt Nachiketa has ejected rom his MIG-27 aircraft after an engine out. Sqn 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 Ajay Ahuja passed on the crucial information to the mission control room to enable
them to launch the rescue helicopter. However, a shoulder-fired FIM-92 Stinger missile hit
his MIG-27 fighter, C-1539. Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja gave a raid call – “Hercules, something has
hit my plane, 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
towards a safer area. But when the aircaraft engine flamed out, Sqn Ldr Ahuja had no choice
but to eject. He ejected sately 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 199.
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. His wife Alka and son Ankush survive Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja.