After being inducted as the first batch of women fighter pilots into the Indian Air Force (IAF) the trio of Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh are all set to take to the skies in IAF’s MIG-21.
ndian Air Force’s iconic fighters that have the highest take-off speed in the world at 340 kilometres per hour. Avani and Bhawana have already undergone their fighter pilot training and have undertaken solo flights in Pilatus PC-7 turboprops, Kiran and Hawk jet trainers. Their compatriot and Flying Officer Mohana Singh is being trained at the Kalaikunda Air Force base in West Bengal.
However, to be declared “fully operational”, the three fighter pilots will have to take nearly a dozen “dual-check” sorties, following which they will be declared fit for solo sorties by the Qualified Flying Instructors (QFIs). In the “dual-check” sorties, the fighter pilots will be taught basic flying techniques, handling the aircraft, take-off, and landing. Following this, they will graduate in tactical flying and operations.
Breaking the gender barrier, the Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat, too, had in 2017 announced that the process to offer combat roles to women was moving fast. The move will induct women on “an experimental basis” for five years initially