IAF to Have Women Fighter Pilots: Air Chief


New Delhi: Adding another feather to the cap of Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Thursday declared that now women will be inducted to fly the fighter jets.

“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,” the air chief on the 83rd Air Force Day.

In the past, the Air Force had refused to allow women in fighter squadrons because of fears of torture or rape if they were shot down in combat. If they do make a historic leap, the Air Force will be the first to have women in active front-line combat.

In 2010, women in the army and the Air Force were allowed full term service by the Delhi High Court, which commented that women officers “deserve better from the government.”

Last month, women naval officers also scored this milestone, with the High Court saying it would “frown upon any endeavor to block progress of women.”

Till five years ago, women military officers were entitled only to a limited service span . Women officers are not allowed on board warships but the navy too, may have to review its rules.

Women serve in the administrative, medical and education branches. They are also taken on aircraft as “observers”, to monitor censors.