A woman fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force will soon join the Golden Arrows squadron which will be operating the newly-inducted Rafale fighter jets Credit: Twitter image

A woman fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force will soon join the Golden Arrows squadron which will be operating the newly-inducted Rafale fighter jets. Additionally, the woman pilot is undergoing training to fly the Rafale aircraft, official sources said.

Official sources also added that she has been flying MiG-21 fighters and basing her proficiency she was selected for the Rafale fleet following an internal process.

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Presently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has 10 women fighter pilots and 18 women navigators. The total strength of the women officers who are serving in the IAF is 1,875. Minister of State for Defence Shirpad Naik told the parliament last week that women fighter pilots are inducted and deployed in IAF as per strategic needs and operational requirements.

On September 10, 2019, the Golden arrows squadron of the IAF was resurrected. Its origins can be traced to Ambala on October 1 of 1951. The legendary squadron has many laurels and firsts in its name. This includes the equipping of the first jet fighter, De Havilland Vampire in 1955.

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At the Ambala Air Force base, a total of five French-made multirole Rafale Jets were introduced in the IAF on September 10. A total of 10 jets have been delivered to India so far and five of them remained back in France for imparting training to IAF pilots. Additionally, the delivery of all the 36 aircraft is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

Meanwhile, the second batch of four to five fighter jets is scheduled to arrive in India by November. These Rafale jets are the nation’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after Russia imported Sukhoi jets.

On July 29, the first batch of Rafale Fighter jets arrived in India. This is nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 jets at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

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