Shivangi Singh, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, joined the IAF in 2017 and is currently undergoing training to fly the Rafale aircraft.
Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is set to become the first Indian Air Force (IAF) woman fighter pilot to fly the Rafale aircraft which were formally inducted on September 10, news reports suggest.
Singh is currently undergoing training to fly the Rafale and will soon join the No. 17 Squadron “Golden Arrows” which is based in Ambala, Haryana.
Who is Shivangi Singh?
Singh, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, joined the IAF in 2017 and has been flying the MiG-21 Bison aircraft.
She is said to be one of the 10 Indian women fighter pilots. "She was chosen to fly Rafale jets following a stringent selection process. She is undergoing training now,” a person aware of the development told news agency PTI.
Besides the 10 women fighter pilots, the IAF also has 18 women navigators. The total strength of women officers serving in the IAF is 1,875.
Last week, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik told Parliament that women fighter pilots are inducted and deployed in IAF as per strategic needs and operational requirements.
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 aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
The Rafale jets, known for air-superiority and precision strikes, are India’s first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia.
Five French-made multirole Rafale fighter jets were formally inducted into the IAF on September 10. While the first batch had landed in India in late July, the second batch of four-five Rafale jets is likely to arrive in India by November. The delivery of all 36 aircraft is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.Amid the ongoing border dispute between India and China, it had become imperative for the IAF to be able to deploy the new Rafales as soon as possible.