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History awaits: India’s first batch of women fighter pilot commissioned today

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New Delhi: History will be scripted today when Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will formally commission women fighter pilots along with flight cadets of various branches of the Indian Air Force at a combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal.

The graduation parade will be a landmark in IAF history as the first three women pilots will be commissioned in the fighter stream of the flying branch.

Each has cleared the first stage of training and has about 150 hours of flying. After getting their wings tomorrow as flying officers, they will train for six months on the Advanced Jet Fighter – the British-built Hawk – they will be assigned fighters and their squadrons.

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha had earlier told ANI that after being commissioned, they would go to the advanced jet training, and later proceed to the regular squads.

Raha, on the occasion of International Women’s Day yesterday, announced that the nation will see its first batch of female fighter pilots on June 18.

In February 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee had announced that all military combat roles will be opened to women in the future. (ANI)

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