Defence ministry approves combat role for women in IAF
24 October 2015
The ministry of defence has approved the induction of women into the fighter (combat) stream of the Indian Air Force (IAF), a move which is in keeping with the aspirations of Indian women and the contemporary trends in armed forces of developed nations.
Since their induction into the transport and helicopter streams of the IAF, the performance of women pilots has been praiseworthy and on a par with their male counterparts, the ministry noted.
''Inducting women into the fighter stream would provide them with an equal opportunity to prove their mettle in combat roles as well.''
The first women pilots would be selected from the batch, which is presently undergoing flying training at Air Force Academy. After successful completion of ab-initio training, they would be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016.
Thereafter, they would undergo advanced training for one year and would enter a fighter cockpit by June 2017.
At present, the Indian Army inducts women into the Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation (Air Traffic Control), Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps, Intelligence Corps, Army Education Corps and Judge Advocate Generals Branches/Cadres.
The Indian Navy women in the Judge Advocate Generals, Logistics, Observer, Air Traffic Controller, Naval Constructor and Education branches/cadres.
IAF is currently inducting women in the Transport and Helicopter stream of the flying branch, Navigation, Aeronautical Engineering, Administration, Logistics, Accounts, Education and Meteorology branches.
With the decision to induct women in the fighter stream, women have become eligible for induction in all branches and streams of the IAF.
The defence ministry has also taken up a comprehensive review pertaining to induction of women in armed forces, both in short service commission and permanent commission (SSC & PC) and once finalised more and more branches would be opened up for induction of women.