Woman pilot to fly Rafale fighters! Another glass ceiling shattered

By: |
September 22, 2020 2:28 PM

Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi broke the glass ceiling when she wrote history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter and that too solo.

Woman pilot, Indian Air Force, Rafale fighters JETS, Golden Arrows Squadron,  Ambala Air Force Base, Shripad Naik, latest news on rafale, defence newsFlying officer Avani Chaturvedi broke the glass ceiling when she wrote history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter and that too solo.

A woman Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot who has been flying MiG 21 fighter aircraft has been moved to join the crew of the newly-inducted French `Rafale’ fighter fleet. “The lady pilot has had to undergo a stringent selection process before being down selected. She is now being trained to fly the multi-role aircraft ` Rafale’ which were recently inducted in ‘Golden Arrows Squadron’ at Ambala Air Force Base. The name of the lady pilot has not been revealed due to operational reasons, sources say.

Women Fighter Pilots in IAF

Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi broke the glass ceiling when she wrote history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter and that too solo. She flew MiG-21 bison in her first solo flight in 2018.

She was part of a three-member women team which was commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, the other two included Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh. This came close on the heels of the government’s decision to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis. There are more women pilots in conversion – this training undertaken to move from flying one particular aircraft to another.

According to the information available in the public domain, the IAF’s overall women officers’ serving is around 1,875. Out of this number, there are 10 women fighter pilots and 18 women navigators.

Just last week, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik had told the Parliament that induction and deployment of women pilots is as per the strategic and operational requirements.

As reported earlier, earlier this month, IAF inducted five French-made multirole Rafale fighter jets into the Golden Arrows squadron. And more are expected to arrive next month.

These fighters are now operational and can be deployed when there is a need.

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