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Indian MoD officially approves induction of women fighter pilots in the IAF

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World Defense & Security News - India
 
 
Indian MoD officially approves induction of women fighter pilots in the IAF
 
In a big boost, the Indian Ministry of Defence on Saturday approved the induction of women pilots into the fighter (combat) stream of the Indian Air Force (IAF). "Inducting them (women) into the fighter stream would provide them with an equal opportunity to prove their mettle in combat roles as well," said a Ministry of Defence press release.
     
Indian MoD officially approves induction of women fighter pilots in the IAF 640 001
     
According to the MoD release, the first women pilots would be selected from the batch which is presently undergoing flying training at Air Force Academy. "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 a fighter cockpit by June 2017," the release said.

With this decision to open up induction of women in the fighter stream, women have now become eligible for induction in all branches and streams of the IAF.

The Ministry of Defence has also taken up a comprehensive review pertaining to induction of women in Armed Forces both in short service commission and permanent commission (SSC & PC) and once finalised more and more branches would be opened up for induction of women.

Earlier this month, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha 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 in India."

"There are many of us in the forces who grew up watching MiGs, wished to fly these birds," a woman flying officer in the transport branch had told ET. "With this move we might see that turn to reality." The air force has about 1,500 women, of which 108 are pilots in the helicopter and transport units.