New Delhi. 21 September 2020. The strength of women officers serving the Indian Air Force (IAF) as on 01 September, 2020 is 1875 (One Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy-Five).  Of these, 10 women officers are Fighter Pilots and 18 women officers are Navigators.

The Ministry of Defence has approved the induction of women into the Fighter (Combat) stream of the IAF. This progressive step is in keeping with the aspirations of Indian women and is in line with contemporary trends in Armed Forces of developed nations. Since their induction into the transport and Helicopter streams of the IAF, their performance has been praiseworthy and on a par with their male counterparts. Inducting women into the fighter stream would provide them with an equal opportunity to prove their mettle in combat roles as well.

The Ministry of Defence has received a proposal from IAF to induct women officers as fighter pilots. After approval of Ministry of Defence, IAF commenced a Scheme for “Induction of Women SSC officers in Fighter Stream of Flying Branch” in 2016, under which 10 (Ten) women fighter pilots have been commissioned till date.

Women fighter pilots are inducted and deployed in IAF as per strategic needs and operational requirements within the laid down policy, which is reviewed from time to time.