Published On: Sat, Oct 24th, 2015

Defence Ministry gives its nod to Women Fighter Pilots in the Indian Air Force

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The Indian Air Force will now have women as fighter pilots. The ministry of defence on Saturday approved the induction of women into the fighter (Combat) stream of Indian Air Force.

The first women pilots will be selected from the batch which is presently undergoing flying training at the Air Force Academy. In a historic leap, Ministry of Defence today approved induction of women fighter pilots in Indian Air Force, said spokesperson Sitanshu Kar.

During the the 83rd Air Force Day, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha had said: “We have women pilots flying transport aircraft and helicopters, we are now planning to induct them into the fighter stream to meet the aspirations of young women of India,” said the air chief on the 83rd Air Force Day.

“I have no doubt that women will be able to overcome any physical limitations to become fighter pilots,” he had said.

There are around 1,500 women in the Air Force, including 94 pilots and 14 navigators.

In the past, the Air Force had refused to allow women in fighter squadrons because of fears of torture or rape if they were shot down in combat.
In 2010, women in the army and the Air Force were allowed full term service by the Delhi High Court, which commented that women officers “deserve better from the government.”

Last month, women naval officers also scored this milestone, with the High Court saying it would “frown upon any endeavor to block progress of women.”

Till five years ago, women military officers were entitled only to a limited service span.

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