Indian Air Force Chief B.S. Dhanoa announced on Thursday that the first three IAF women fighter pilots will be commissioned by the end of the year. He also reported that three more women are being trained for the role.
Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa addressed the annual press conference and said, “Last year we took a step forward by inducting the first batch of women pilots in the fighter stream. You will be glad to know that their performance has been at par with other pilots despite the strenuous and demanding nature of flying.”
He further added, “Consequently next batch of three women trainees has been selected for fighter stream in July 2017.”
The first batch of women pilots are Bhawana Kanth, Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi who are about to finish their training.
Dhanoa reported, “On completion, these three women will be commissioned in fighter stream by the end of this year.”
The Chief was asked if more women would join the fighter pilots to which he said, “As far as the women fighter pilots are concerned, they have to volunteer for it. Secondly, they have to make the cut in their aptitude. Flying is governed by laws of physics… It is like driving a car, it is gender neutral.”
Women make up a minor section in the armed forces with the Navy having only 450 women officers, the Army has around 1,300 and the IAF has 1,350 women.