IAF Chief promises to induct women into fighter stream

Written by: OneIndia Defence Desk
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New Delhi, Oct 8: The Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha made a historic announcement today towing the line of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Mission Naari Shakthi.'

Addressing the IAF Day Parade at AF Station Hindon on Thursday, Raha said the doors will be now open to women to don combat fatigues.


The IAF celebrated its 83rd anniversary today.

"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," Raha said.

Over the years, successive IAF Chief's have ducked the queries from the media on inducting women into the fighter stream.

Countries like Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey have already overtaken IAF by inducting women on combat flying roles.

IAF will have to work out a detailed plan

Speaking to OneIndia, a veteran fighter pilot said that the IAF will have to work out a detailed plan ahead of inducting women on combat flying roles.

"Lot of work needs to be put in before the actual execution. I suspect this decision is taken after immense pressure from the government. Traditionally, the IAF has been non-committal on this issue so far. There will be two sets of rules in play for men and women pilots," he says.

He said with advanced simulators now available for combat pilots, training women crew will not be a tough ask for the IAF.

"Still, in an actual war scenario, we might have to rethink whether to allow women or not. My days were different and anything can happen in a modern era," he added.

Traditionally, the Indian Navy and Army have kept women officers out of combat roles sighting a number of reasons.

"With the IAF changing its stance, the Army and Navy might as well have a rethink," says the officer.

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