India’s air force pilot Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth has become the first woman fighter pilot qualified for combat missions by day.
She has successfully completed a training program for performing combat missions on a MiG-21 ‘Bison’ fighter jet, PTI news agency reported on Thursday.
"She is the first woman fighter pilot to be qualified to undertake missions on a fighter aircraft by day. She has been able to achieve this feat with her hard work and perseverance," Air Force Spokesperson Group Captain Anupam Banerjee was quoted by PTI as saying.
She has been posted to a frontline airbase at Nal in Rajasthan, where she will operate the aircraft with her squadron.
Officials said the next woman fighter pilot to undertake missions by day is Flight Lieutenant Avani Chaturvedi. Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh is also expected to reach this stage soon. The three women pilots were commissioned into the IAF’s fighter stream in June 2016.
The MiG-21 is the oldest frontline combat jet, which is operational in the Indian Air Force. The fighter first entered service in 1964. Since then, the jet has been regularly upgraded.
Indian Air Forces two women fighter pilots are getting ready to go on solo-sortie in a MiG-21 Bison supersonic fighter and are expected to fly all alone in a month or so. Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh made history by becoming the first-ever women to undergo fighter pilot training in IAF
Indian Air Forces first female combat fighter pilots will likely be flying Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft by year end, an air official told
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
Indias first batch of women fighter pilots will be commissioned on June 18, the forces chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said Tuesday. “The floodgates have opened for women to prove their mettle in all streams,” Air Chief Marshal Raha said at an event on International Womens Day
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