25/10/2015 290 Security Issues | Defence | View Recent Current Affairs
- The Ministry of Defence has allowed the Indian Air Force to induct women as fighter pilots.
- This makes it first of the three services to have women in combat role.
- The Army and the Navy too have women officers, but in roles that are not designed for direct combat.
- Air Force women officers have been flying helicopters and transport planes for two decades but fighter jets were considered dangerous for them as these ran the risk of being shot down over enemy territory in case of war.
- The IAF has around 35 squadrons of fighter jets (with 18 planes each) and plans to increase the fleet to 42 over the next 10 years. Several other countries, including Pakistan and China, have already engaged women to fly fighter jets.
- The first women fighter pilots will be selected from the current batch that is undergoing training at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Telangana.
- After the successful completion of ab-initio training, they will be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016.
- They will then undergo one-year advanced training and could be expected inside fighter cockpit by June 2017.