New Delhi: The Indian Navy has trained its first batch of women pilots on Dornier Aircraft by the Southern Naval Command at Kochi. Lieutenant Divya Sharma, Lieutenant Shubhangi Swaroop, and Lieutenant Shivangi are the three women pilots of the initial batch.
The women pilots were part of the Dornier Operational Flying Training (DOFT) Course, who qualified as ‘Fully operational Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) Pilots’. They were awarded by Rear Admiral Antony George, VSM, NM, Chief Staff Officer (Training) of SNC at the occasion. Lt Shivangi was the first to qualify as a naval pilot. Lt Divya Sharma and Lt Shivam Pandey were awarded as ‘First in Flying’ and ‘First in Ground’ subjects, respectively.
The pilots had undergone primary flying training parallelly with the Indian Air Force and the Navy before the DOFT course. The course constituted one month of ground training stage completed at various professional schools of SNC and eight months of flying training at the Dornier Squadron of SNC, INAS 550.
“The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (South) rolling trophy in memory of late Lt Simon George Pynomootil for the ‘Most spirited trainee’ was given to Lt Kumar Vikram. This trophy was initiated on 18 Jun 2019 during the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of INAS 550 to commemorate the spirit of the officer who was a qualified Islander pilot and lost his life in an air crash while serving the squadron on 17 May 1985”.
Earlier this month it was declared that the IAF’s first three women fighter pilots are also set to be commissioned by the end of this year, and the second batch of three more women pilots are now being trained for the role.