Government approves induction of women fighter pilots into IAF

Government approves induction of women fighter pilots into IAF

The first women pilots in the fighter stream of IAF will be selected from the current batch at Air Force Academy, said Defence Ministry.

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In a landmark decision, the government on Saturday approved the induction of women into combat stream of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The decision will pave way for the induction of
women fighter pilots into the IAF. Defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar released a statement which said that the induction of women will begin from the current batch. Air chief Marshal Arup Raha had on October 8 said that a proposal for such an induction was mooted with the defence ministry and that a decision was awaited. The first women officer will enter a fighter pilot cockpit by June 2017.
“The Ministry of Defence has approved the induction of women into the Fighter (Combat) stream of the IAF. This progressive step is in keeping with the aspirations of Indian women and is in line with contemporary trends in Armed Forces in developed nations,” a statement by defence ministry spokesperson Kar said. The ministry justified its swift decision citing that the performance of women pilots in helicopter and transport streams has been praiseworthy with their male counterparts. “Introducing women into the fighter stream would provide them with equal opportunity to prove their mettle in combat as well,” the defence ministry statement said.
The induction of women will begin from the currently training batch of women officers at Air Force Academy (Secunderabad). “After successful completion of ab-initio training, they would be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016. Thereafter, they would undergo advanced training for one year and would enter the fighter pilot cockpit by June 2017,” the statement said.
Presently, the Army has been inducting women officers in Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation (Air Traffic Control), Army Air Defence, ASC, Ordinance, Intelligence, medical and education corps of the service. While the IAF has been inducting women into the transport and helicopter streams, the decision makes way for career opportunity for women officers in all the branches of the Air Force. The statement said that a comprehensive review of induction of women in short service as well as permanent commission has been undertaken.


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