Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Ajay Ahuja of the Indian Air Force made the supreme sacrifice for the nation on 27 May 1999 during ‘OP Vijay’ while on a combat mission over Kashmir. The officer’s aircraft was hit by an enemy shoulder fired Surface to Air Missile (SAM) while he was attempting to locate a downed pilot in spite of being aware of the danger to his life owing to the existence of SAMs in the area.
This extremely courageous act involving immense risk to this life epitomises the tenacity and indomitable spirit of the Indian Fighter Pilot. Tragically, Ajay paid the price for his bravery. His aircraft was hit and damaged severely. Though the Officer ejected safely, he was killed by the enemy in captivity. The Officer will always be remembered as a courageous and selfless soldier who laid down his life without a second thought for his country and for his brothers in uniform.
Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja hailed from Kota in Rajasthan. He was an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the IAF on 14 June 1985 as a fighter pilot. Over a span of fourteen years in various squadrons of the IAF, he served as an operational pilot on MiG-21 variants and on the MiG-23 Fighter bomber. He grew up in service to become top instructor with an experience of over 1000 hours spent in instructing ab-initio pilots. He was extremely popular among his pupils because of his patience and cheerful nature. A thorough professional, the Officer was the Flight Commander of the Golden Arrows. We salute this brave officer for his gallantry and draw inspiration from his dedication and bravery. His wife Mrs. Alka Ahuja and son Ankush survive him.