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IAF Inducts Woman Fighter Pilot To Operate MiG-29, Becomes The First Woman In The Squad

Woman pilot in MiG-29 squadron
Woman pilot in MiG-29 squadron: Indian Air Force (IAF) has assigned a woman pilot to the MiG-29 squadron, who will become the first woman in the squad. The IAF has been assigning woman pilots to fighter squadrons for the past five years and women have been part of squads of MiG-21 Bison, Sukhoi and Rafale previously.

The Mikoyan MiG-29 is the fourth type of fighter aircraft after MiG-21 Bison, Sukhoi and Rafale that will feature a woman fighter pilot in the squad, HT reported.

In 2020, Shivangi Singh became the first woman to join the Rafale squadron based in Ambala. Singh was the first girl from the city of Lucknow to be inducted in the Air Force as a female fighter pilot, in 2017. Prior to her appointment, Singh was deployed as a cadet of the 7 UP Air Squadron in the National Cadet Corps. Read more on here.

“There is no difference in the performance of male or female fighter pilots. They are military professionals trained to carry out specific roles,” a second official said regarding the appointment. IAF’s MiG-29s were equipped with new avionics, weapons, radar and helmet-mounted displays in the last decade.

Currently, there are 9,118 women serving the army, navy and air force, with the services giving them more opportunities to boost career progression, the government told Parliament last month.

“More roles being opened to women in the military is natural progression. We are inching towards having women serving in every branch of the armed forces,” Wing Commander Anupama Joshi (retd), said on March 8, Women’s Day.

The army will soon open the doors of its aviation wing to women officers. In January this year, it was announced that the proposal to recruit women in the Army Aviation Corps will be initiated from July this year with officers undergoing a pilot training course. Following this, women officers will be able to join operational duties after completing one year of training.

Image Credit: The Indian Express