NEW DELHI: A woman fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force will soon join the Golden Arrows squadron of the newly-inducted Rafale fighter jets. The woman pilot is undergoing training to fly Rafale aircraft. She has been flying MiG-21 fighters and was selected for the Rafale fleet following an internal process. The IAF has 10 women fighter pilots and 18 women navigators. The total strength of women officers serving in the IAF is 1,875. The women fighter pilots are inducted and deployed in IAF as per strategic needs and operational requirements.
The Golden Arrows squadron of the IAF was resurrected on September 10 last year. The squadron was originally raised at Air Force Station, Ambala. The squadron has many firsts to its credit; in 1955 it was equipped with the first jet fighter, the legendary De Havilland Vampire. The Rafale jets are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia. The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.