NEW DELHI: In a big relief for women pilots, the Ministry of Defence on Saturday gave an approval to induct women as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The first women pilots will be selected from the current batch that is undergoing flying training at the Air Force Academy.
According to an official statement from the MOD, the first batch will be commissioned into the fighter stream in June 2016. “They will then undergo advanced training for one year and would enter a fighter cockpit by June 2017,” the statement said.
In 2010, the Delhi High Court had permitted women in the army and the Air Force with full term service, which commented that women officers ‘deserve better from the government’.
There are approximately 1, 500 women in the Air Force which includes 94 pilots and 14 navigators.
Speaking on 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.”