Indian Air Force’s Rafale fleet to have first woman pilot soon

Team India Sentinels Monday 21st of September 2020 09:25 PM

Rafale fighter aircraft

New Delhi: A woman fighter pilot will soon join the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Ambala-based 17 Squadron, the ‘Golden Arrows’, operating Rafale fighter aircraft, sources in the defence establishments said here on Monday.

Notably, five Rafale combat aircraft made by French company Dassault Aviation were inducted into ‘Golden Arrows’ earlier this month.

The woman pilot is being trained to fly Rafale aircraft, sources added.

They added that the woman pilot, who has been flying MiG-21 fighters, was selected to fly the Rafale fleet following an internal process.

Currently, the IAF has 10 women fighter pilots.

The total number of women officers serving in the IAF is 1,875.

Last week, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik told Parliament that women fighter pilots are inducted and stationed in the IAF in accordance with strategic needs and operational requirements.

“Women fighter pilots are inducted and deployed in IAF as per strategic needs and operational requirements within the laid down policy, which is reviewed from time to time,” Mr Naik added.

Resurrected on September 10, 2019, the Golden Arrows squadron of the IAF was initially raised at Air Force Station, Ambala on October 1, 1951.

In 1955, the squadron was equipped with the first jet fighter, De Havilland Vampire.


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