Minister of State for Defence, Sripad Yesso Naik on Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that a total of 1900 women officers are currently inducted in the Indian Air Force as on July 1. Naik sent a written response to a question asked on the total strength of women officers in the IAF by BJP MP from Bangalore Central PC Mohan. He said that of these 1900 women officers eight are fighter pilots and 17 are navigators. 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, Naik added in his response.

He said that of these 1900 women officers eight are fighter pilots and 17 are navigators. 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, Naik added in his response.

Mohan also asked, “whether the Ministry has received any proposal from IAF to induct women officers as fighter pilots and if so, the details thereof.” To which Naik replied, “After approval of Ministry of Defence, IAF commenced a scheme for induction of women SSC officers in the fighter stream of the flying branch in 2016, under which eight women fighter pilots have been commissioned till date.”

Naik revealed that there have been 15 defence aircraft accidents in Arunachal Pradesh while not disclosing the time-frames when the crashes took place. “Every aircraft accident is investigated by a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of the accident, and the recommendations of the completed Courts of Inquiry are implemented,” he added.

In May this year, three women officers of the Indian Air Force created history after flying a medium-lift helicopter.

Recently, Avani Chaturvedi, who is among India’s first female fighter pilots, examined and tested a cockpit simulator of the F-21 fighter aircraft of American aerospace giant, Lockheed Martin a few days ago.

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In May this year, three women officers of the Indian Air Force created history after flying a medium-lift helicopter. Flt Lt Parul Bharadwaj (Captain), Flying Officer Aman Nidhi (Co-Pilot) and Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal (Flight Engineer) are the first ‘All-Women Crew’ who flew a Mi-17 V5helicopter for a battle inoculation Training Mission taking off and landing from restricted areas at a forward airbase in South Western Air Command, according to an IAF release.

The helicopter Mi-17 V5 was taken into air by Squadron leader Richa Adhikari, the unit engineering officer. The pilots had undergone their basic flying training at the ‘Helicopter Training School’ at Airport Station Hakimpet. This was then followed by advanced training at Air Force Station Yelahanka located in Bengaluru.

Picture credit- DNA India

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