In a big breakthrough, women pilots will soon fly fighter jets of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said today while celebrating India’s 83rd Air Force Day.
“We have women pilots flying transport aircraft and helicopters, we are now planning to induct them into the fighter stream to meet the aspirations of young women of India.”
Women have so far been employed in transport and admin streams of the armed forces and also fly in–force passenger planes and helicopters. The armed forces have been expressing concerns of torture, rape, hardship and postings in difficult terrains are a combination of reasons for keeping women off the fighter stream.
If they do make a historic leap, the Air Force will be the first to have women in active front-line combat. In 2010, women in the army and the Air Force were allowed full term service by the Delhi High Court, which commented that women officers “deserve better from the government.”
Last month, women naval officers also scored this milestone, with the High Court saying it would “frown upon any endeavor to block progress of women.”
Till five years ago, women military officers were entitled only to a limited service span .
Women officers are not allowed on board warships but the navy too, may have to review its rules.
Women serve in the administrative, medical and education branches. They are also taken on aircraft as “observers”, to monitor censors.
As per a report in The Hindu, there are around 300 women pilots in the Indian Air Force.
Pic Credit: Telegraph