On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8,
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha announced that India would soon be getting its first batch of female fighter pilots
. Though these women fighter pilots would be commissioned on June 18, Raha announced the names of the three women pilots.
Raha also said that even the family members of these women were not made aware of them being trained as fighter pilots.
Though details about these women pilots have not been disclosed, here is what we know so far:
Three women pilots would be commissioned in India’s first batch of fighter pilots. The three women pilots are Avni Chaturvedi, Mohna Singh and Bhavana Kant.
All three of them are currently undergoing training in Hyderabad. Currently, the second phase of the training is on. After they complete their training on June 18, there will be a passing out parade.
The three will get regular posting in any of the fighter jet squads after they graduate.
What we know about these pilots? Avni hails from Rewa District of Madhya Pradesh and her brother is in the Indian Army. Their father is an executive engineer.
Bhavana hails from Bihar’s Begusarai district, where as Mohna belongs to Vadodara, Gujarat.
Mohna’s father is also in the Indian Air Force and is an Warrant officer. For stage 2 of their training, they are flying Mach 2 planes.
After they graduate from the IAF Academy, they will head to Stage 3 that their their final training for six months.
Their final training would then be conducted on Hawk Advance Jet Trainers. Their training will finish in 2017, when they will fully become fighter pilots.
Women first began flying in 1991 with helicopters and transport aircraft. In 2012 India got its first two women combat helicopter pilots in Flt. Lt. Alka Shukla and Flt. Lt. MP Sumathi. There are currently 1436 women in the Army, 1331 women in the Air Force, 94 Women IAF pilots and 413 women in the Navy.