Varanasi’s Shivangi Singh to be first woman to fly Rafale

Shivangi Singh, who hails from Varanasi, is currently being trained to fly IAF’s newest fighter based in Ambala. She is undergoing conversion training to fly the Rafale jet and will soon join the Ambala-based No. 17 squadron, also known as “Golden Arrows.”

Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is set to become India’s first woman fighter pilot to fly the Rafale aircraft that was formally inducted into the Indian Air Force on September 10, officials familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Singh, who hails from Varanasi, is currently being trained to fly IAF’s newest fighter based in Ambala. She is undergoing conversion training to fly the Rafale jet and will soon join the Ambala-based No. 17 squadron, also known as “Golden Arrows.”

The officer, who is one of IAF’s 10 women fighter pilots, joined the air force in 2017. After joining IAF, she has been flying the MiG-21 Bison aircraft and was till recently serving at a fighter base in Rajasthan, the officials added on condition of anonymity.

Ten women have been commissioned as fighter pilots after the experimental scheme for their induction into IAF’s combat stream was introduced in 2015, a watershed in the air force’s history. IAF is operating its Rafale fighter jets in the Ladakh theatre where the military is on its highest state of alert, amid heightened border tensions with China. IAF’s current fleet of five Rafale fighters is fully operational and ready to undertake any mission, officials said.

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