New Delhi, July 8: The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) released photographs of the first batch of women pilots, who undertook flying missions recently. The photos have been published in online edition of People's Daily. It is also shared on their Facebook page.
They are from the first batch of female combat pilots with duel degrees. They flew the ‘Flying Leopard,' a fighter bomber, on July 2.
The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) selected 33 women from more than 150,000 high school graduates in 2008.
According to the information released on the public domain, these women candidates underwent four years of study at the Aviation University of Air Force.
They also underwent an additional year of skill development courses at various flight academies in China.
Those qualified at the end of the course were given a dual degree.
All-women aerobatic team
In March this year, a four-member all-woman aerobatic team caught the attention of international audiences during their maiden performance at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia.
However, the first international performance for this team was during Moscow Air Show in 2013.
The female pilots flying the Chinese-made J-10 fighters had an average of 800 flying hours when they hit the Malaysian shores.
The team first performed during the military parade in 2009 to mark China's 60th anniversary.
India still not encouraging the idea
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is yet to induct women officers in combat roles. Successive governments in India have often dealt with the growing chorus for including women in combat roles, diplomatically.
The IAF has already opened all transport and helicopter branches for women, but not yet included them in the fighter stream.
"This issue has come up often in the Parliament and the government has always maintained a safe stand. The Army and Navy always opposed the idea of including women in combat roles. Their reasons are valid as well. Some amount of pressure has been always there on us whenever our neighboring countries advertise their military might, showcasing women in combat roles," says a retired Air Marshal.
Photos Courtesy: People's Daily