Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is set to create history becoming the first woman fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Rafale squadron. Singh hails from Varanasi and was commissioned into the IAF in 2017 as part of the second batch of women fighter pilots.

She will fly the Rafale aircraft that was inducted into the IAF on September 10, officials said on Wednesday.

Currently, Singh is undergoing rigorous training to fly IAF’s newest fighter based in Ambala. She is also taking up numerous challenging training including “conversion training” to fly the Rafale jet and is all set to join the Ambala-based No. 17 squadron, also known as “Golden Arrows.”

“Women fighter pilots undergo an identical training regimen as their male counterparts,” says retired Air Marshal Anil Chopra, who is an expert on fighter aircraft. “Rafale is a top-end, high-performance aircraft, and entry of women has crossed the last bastion. Indian Armed Forces have come a long way since it first inducted women officers in 1992. Today, all wings of the military allow women in some form of combat roles.”

Shivangi Singh became a household name when became one of IAF’s ten women fighter pilots joined the air force in 2017, breaking several records within the force. After joining the IAF, she steadied her hands by flying the highly-demanding MiG-21 Bison aircraft and was till recently serving at a fighter base in Rajasthan, the officials added.

Who is Shivangi Singh?

Singh passed out from the Banaras Hindu University. She became a popular name when joined the force among the second batch of women fighter pilots. These women officers underwent rough training to fly supersonic jets. Typically it costs the Indian Air Force about Rs 15 crore to train a single fighter pilot.

Prior to this, Singh was deployed as a cadet of the 7 UP Air Squadron in the National Cadet Corps.

She has flown along with Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was taken captive for a few days last year after his MiG-21 was shot down during an aerial skirmish with Pakistani fight fighters after the Balakot air strikes.

Meanwhile, two women Navy officers, Sub Lieutenants Kumudini Tyagi and Riti Singh, have been selected for the helicopter stream. “The struggle of two decades has culminated into this storm! In the past three years so much has progressed and now we are seeing yet another door opening .Absolutely delighted that the air force has not dithered and true to its grain has handed over the newest machine to Shivangi. Go girl ….Touch the sky with glory,” said Wing Commander Anupama Joshi (retd) told HT.

Picture Credit: India Today

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