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10:02 AM, June 20, 2016
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Three IAF Women Pilots Inducted In Fighter Stream

The India Air Force formally commissioned its first three women fighter pilots at the Air Force Academy at Dundigal on the outskirts of Hyderabad on June 18.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was chief guest at the combined graduation ceremony at Air Force Academy, Dundigal on the city outskirts, termed the event as a “milestone” wherein for the first time three women pilots are commissioned in combat role.

Favouring total gender parity in armed forces, Parrikar, however, said, “there are technical and administrative difficulties which we are likely to face in certain areas, so, step by step we will see that this parity is achieved. Number will depend on how many we can accommodate depending on our infrastructure”.

The newly inducted fighter stream pilots are Mohana Singh, Bhawana Kanth and Avani Chaturvedi.

The three women, who already have 150 hours of flying, will be trained at Bidar or Kalaikunda airbase for one year on Hawk advanced trainer jets before switching to warplanes that include Sukhoi Su-30MKIs and Mirage-2000s.

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