First batch of Indian female combat pilots going to be out soon

UAE's first female fight pilot Mariam Al Mansouri: Pic by NYT

The decision on six trainee women pilot in the Indian Air Force is going to be out in a month. A board of 16 members will come to the decision at the Dindigul-based premier academy in Tamil Nadu on who all are going to be fighter pilots from a group of 125 cadets including women. They will give their assessment based on their flying capabilities.

A few weeks ago, government had passed the order that women can be fighter plane pilots in the Indian Air force from 2017 and this will be the first time women combat pilot will be chosen.

“There’s a possibility that all the six women could be assigned to the fighter stream. But there’s an equal chance that only one or two make it,” said a top fighter pilot, familiar with the combat plan for women, reported Hindustan Times.

There are many categories apart from becoming combat that the women can be given like transport and helicopter streams. Yet this was a big fight won against the rigid system of having women involved in becoming combat pilots. There is a good chance that women will become combat pilot, however, even if they don’t future lies ahead of them.

The course started with over 140 cadets including women in 2015 and all were given similar training, but 15 cadets including one female trainee could not make a cut for flying duties according to HT.

“There’s no evidence to suggest a gap in capabilities between male and female trainees. The academy has a syllabus and performance is measured against clearly laid down parameters,” the officer said, as stated in Time of AP.

Headcount of women in Armed forces is about 3300 including 1,300 in the air force, but up until now there entry as combat pilots was restricted which is cleared now so we will see more women in aviation and air force now. However, female visibility is still a no-no for Warships, tanks and combat positions in infantry.

Picture Credit- China Daily