IAF Gets 2 More Women Fighter Pilots


New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted two more female fighter pilots on Saturday, taking the total number of women in the combat wing to five.

With the commissioning of Pratibha (Rajasthan) and Shivangi (Varanasi), the total number of women fighter pilots has gone up to five in the IAF. The two were among 15 women officers who will join the IAF, according to an official statement.

The occasion, in all, saw 105 Flight Cadets passing out as Flying Officers of the IAF. This occasion also marked the passing out of 200th Pilot’s course of Indian Air Force officers, a long way forward since the humble beginning of the training of Indian trainees at Royal Air Force College, Cranwell in Oct 1931.

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff was the Chief Guest of the parade. Both Shivangi and Pratibha termed the development as a “dream come true”, and expressed confidence about their ability to fly a Sukhoi or MiG aircraft just as well as any male pilot.

Shivangi, the daughter of businessman Kumareshwara Singh and teacher Seema Singh from Varanasi, described the passing-out parade as the proudest moment in her life. “Though there is no warlike situation right now, I am ready for any eventuality,” she said. “I would love to fight for my country, and my parents and I are ready to face the consequences of being in the forefront of any battle.”