Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth Becomes First IAF Woman Fighter Pilot To Undertake Combat Missions
- Scripting history, Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth on Wednesday became the first woman pilot of the Indian Air Force to qualify to undertake combat missions on a fighter jet.
- IAF officials said Kanth has completed operational syllabus for carrying out combat missions on Mig-21 Bison aircraft during day time. “She is the first woman fighter pilot to be qualified to undertake missions by day on a fighter aircraft,” IAF Spokesperson Group Capt Anupam Banerjee said.
- At present, Bhawana is posted at the Nal base in Bikaner Another official said she will be allowed to carry out night operations once she completes training for night missions.
- Bhawana joined the fighter squadron in November 2017 and flew the first solo on MiG-21 Bison in March last year.
- “With her dedication, hard work and perseverance she has become the first woman officer of the IAF to achieve this feat,” said Group Capt Banerjee.
- She is from the first batch of women fighter pilots of the IAF.
- Three women — Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh — were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis.
- The IAF has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream