India gets its first women fighter pilots

The three women were commissioned in the IAF at a combined graduation parade

GN Bureau | June 18, 2016


#indian air force   #defence   #IAF   #pilot   #Women  
India gets its first women fighter pilots
Photo courtesy: IAF

India’s first three women fighter pilots were formally commissioned in the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a ceremony presided over by defence minister Manohar Parrikar.

The three fight cadets, in their early 20’s – Avani Chaturvedi from Madhya Pradesh, Bhawana Kanth from Bihar and Mohana Singh from Rajasthan – along with cadets from other IAF branches were together commissioned at the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal.

These women, who created history, have cleared the first stage of training with about 150 hours of flying. After this graduation parade, they will begin training on advanced jet trainer — British built Hawks at Bidar in Karnataka. They need another 145 hours on the Hawks before they get to fly fighter jets like Tejas next year.

Avani Chaturvedi, hailing from Satna in MP, comes from a family of army officers. She wanted to be in the army like her brother. She did her schooling from Adarsh School in Rewa and BTech in computer science from Banasthali University, Jaipur. She was always passionate about flying and joined the flying club of her college.

Bhawana Kanth hails from Darbhanga. Daughter of an officer in the Indian Oil Corporation, she wanted to become a fighter pilot and serve the nation.  Bhawana did her schooling from Barauni Refinery DAV Public School and BE in Medical Electronics from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore.

Mohana Singh comes from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. Her grandfather was a flight gunner in Aviation Research Centre and father is a warrant officer in the IAF. Mohana did her schooling from Air Force School, New Delhi and BTech in Electronics & Communication from Global Institute of Management and Emerging Technologies, Amritsar.

In February 2016, president Pranab Mukherjee had announced that all military combat roles would now be open to women.
 

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