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These air-warriors will soon breach the final frontier

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on March 07, 2017

Proud moment Mohana Singh, Avani Chaturvedi and Bhawana Kanth, the first women fighter pilots   -  K.V.S. Giri

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will soon have its first batch of women fighter pilots inducted in its combat force. These pilots are are undergoing the second phase of advanced training after which the third and the final stage will commence. The three fighter pilots — Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh — created history last year when they were commissioned at the Combined Graduation Parade at Air Force Academy, Dundigal on June 18.

Currently, these women flying officers are undergoing intensive training on the weapons system that will take them more than two years at the Kalaikunda Air Force station near Kharagpur, West Bengal. They have already undergone training on the combat version of British Hawks at Bidar, Karnataka, sources told BusinessLine.

For security reasons, these women have been kept out of bounds and are not allowed to speak to the media. History will remember these women for opening the gates for women in combat roles in the IAF. They have been trained on Pilatus PC 7 basic trainer and Kiran Mark II during the first stage.

However, compared to their male counterparts, these women pilots will not be flying over enemy territory but will be put in combat air patrol with the mission of protecting the skies from external threats, sources said.

Daughter of an executive engineer with the Madhya Pradesh government, Avani Chaturvedi was born in Satna and did her BTech in computer science. However, it was her brother, who is in the army, who had been her inspiration to join the forces.

Bhawana Kanth hails from Bihar. Her father is an officer in the Indian Oil Corporation. But she had always dreamt of flying fighter jets. She has done BE in Medical Electronics from BMS College of Engineering, Bengaluru.

Finally, Mohana Singh comes from Rajasthan and she belongs to an Air Force background as her father is an IAF personnel. She was studied in Air Force School, New Delhi and did her bachelors in electronics and communication from Amritsar.

Published on March 07, 2017

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