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Indian Air Force Inducts First Batch Of Female Fighter Pilots

Anokhi DIY Anokhi Today Breaking News & Sports World Jun 19, 2016

In a historic moment, the Indian Air Force has hired its first batch of women fighter pilots. 

India is the twentieth country to include women as part of its defence forces.

The three women fighters will go to Bidar for their stage III training for a year. They will train on Hawk advanced jets before flying supersonic warplanes.


Flight cadets Mohana Singh of Rajasthan, Avani Chaturvedi of Madhya Pradesh and Bhawana Kanth of Bihar are three out of six women who have been selected to become part of the IAF.
“I am really very proud of Mohana and wish her all the luck,” said Mohana’s mother to the media.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar formally commissioned the three ladies at the passing out parade at the IAF Academy in Hakimpet, Hyderabad. The graduation parade honoured the successful completion of pre-commissioning training for flight cadets from various IAF branches.
“This is just the beginning. Slowly, women in large numbers will be part of the armed forces,” said Parrikar in an interview.

Avani Chaturvedi told the media that she “feel[s] confident and good, definitely. All our instructors [are] very supportive.”
Although this is a historical moment, the women's training program is also on an “experimental basis.” The IAF will study the results of this experimental induction for five years. The IAF has also asked the three women not to become pregnant in the next four years.
The fighter pilot training takes place in three stages. The three historic ladies cleared the first stage of training with about 150 hours of flying in a trainer jet. They will train for another 145 hours on British-built Hawk trainer jets at the Bidar fort in Karnataka before flying supersonic fighter jets.

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Women have been part of the IAF since 1991. However, they were limited to flying helicopters and transport aircraft. This is the first time women are in the IAF as fighters.
Although the IAF seems to be breaking the glass ceiling gradually by allowing women as combat fighters, the Indian Army and Navy may think otherwise. In February, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee announced that women would be able to occupy all combat roles of the army, navy and air force.

So far, the Indian Army and Indian Navy have no plans to include women on the front lines.

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Farah Quraishi

Farah Quraishi


Farah Quraishi is a Journalism graduate from Sheridan College, she teaches story writing to young adults, has won a best documentary award at BEAC Awards, and enjoys fashion, nature, and Bollywood. She always had a passion for writing and decided to pursue that path.


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