The Indian Air Force will have women fighter pilots from June 2016 for five years on an “experimental basis” only, minister of state for defence Rao Inderjit Singh told the Lok Sabha on Friday. The announcement came just over a month after the Manohar Parrikar-headed defence ministry approved the induction of women into the fighter combat stream of the Indian Air Force.
The government clarified that all women pilots in the Air Force are cleared for all operational roles, including low-level tactical flying, para drop, air maintenance and special helicopter-borne operations, reported The Hindu.
On the timeline for the induction, Singh said that the trainees undergoing Stage-I training at the Air Force Academy would be assessed for their suitability and then selected to the second level. Upon successful completion of Stage-II training, the trainees are likely to be commissioned into the fighter stream in June 2016.