Air Marshal Nambiar was instrumental in operationalising laser-guided precision bombing capability on Mirage-2000 fighters during the War
Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, who played a key role in operationalising laser-guided precision bombing from Mirage-2000 fighter jets during the 1999 Kargil War, retired from the Indian Air Force on October 31 after 38 years of distinguished service.
An experimental test pilot with 5,100 hours of flying experience, including 2,300 hours on the frontline Mirage-2000 strike aircraft, hung up his boots as the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Air Command, the IAF's to operational post.
He will be succeeded as AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command by Air Marshal B Suresh.
Air Marshal Nambiar etched his name in Kargil folklore as the man who bombed Tiger Hill, which symbolised a key turning point in the War.
For his prominent role in the Kargil Operations, codenamed Operation Safed Sagar, Air Marshal Nambiar was awarded the Vayu Sena Medal for Gallantry and a Bar to the Vayu Sena Medal for flight testing the Light Combat Aircraft in 2002.
In recognition of his distinguished and dedicated service, he was conferred the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2015, Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2019 and appointed as an Honorary ADC to the President of India.
During his tenure as the AOC-in-C Western Air Command 'Chinook' helicopters as well as the potent 'Apache' attack helicopters were inducted, enhancing the IAF's operational capabilities.