New Delhi, Dec 4: Induction of women as fighter pilots has been done by the Indian Air Force (IAF)on "experimental basis" for five years, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, in a written reply in Lok Sabha said on Friday.
"Government has accorded the approval to entry of women into the fighter stream of IAF on experimental basis for a period of five years," Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha had announced on October 8, Air Force Day, that women would be inducted in the fighter stream of the force.
Giving details of the process of training for women selecting fighter pilots, the minister said: "It is envisaged that the women trainees undergoing Stage-1 training at the Air Force Academy (Dindugul) would be assessed for their suitability".
"Based on the suitability and willingness, these women trainees would be selected for Stage-2 training in the fighter stream. Upon successful completion of Stage-2 training, these women trainees are likely to be commissioned in fighter stream in June, 2016".
Women form a miniscule group in the armed forces, with the IAF having the highest number at 1,350 followed by the army with 1,300 and the navy with 350 women officers, according to official information.
The 1.3 million-strong armed forces have 59,400 officers.