Hindon Air Force Base, Ghaziabad: In a big announcement, Indian Air Force Chief Arup Raha, Thursday, said that women will be inducted as fighter pilots soon.
Speaking at the 83rd IAF Day celebrations, Raha said, “We have women pilots flying transport aircraft and helicopter. We are now planning to induct them into the fighter stream to meet the aspiration of young women of India.”
The announcement is significant as it signifies the breaking of the final glass ceiling by women IAF pilots.
Interestingly, Air Chief Raha had last year rejected the idea of women as fighter pilots as they were not physically suited to fly fighter planes, especially when they are pregnant or have other health issues.
However, no one ever had any doubts on the capabilities women pilots. They have been found as proficient as their male counterparts in flying high-risk rescue and other missions.
Some of them have even flown sorties of AN-32 aircraft to Daulat Beg Oldi in Ladakh, the world’s highest advanced landing ground at 16,500-feet, as well as IL-76 heavy-lift aircraft to Leh.
Also, Squadron Leader Deepika Misra recently stormed a fiercely male bastion by joining the helicopter display team ‘Sarang’.
It really was time women got a chance to soar high, as high men can.