Women/female aspirants are eligible to join the Flying Branch of IAF (Indian Air Force). But as of now, Female Flying Officers are not inducted into service as Fighter Pilots. The Flying Branch of IAF can be said to be made up of the following sections- Fighter Jets, Transport Aircraft and Helicopters. As of now, Female Flying Officers are assigned the task of handling Transport Aircraft and Helicopters, not Fighter Jets and Combat duty! But this situation may change in the near future. Statements given by IAF Chief Arup Raha on Air Force Day (8th October) clearly indicates that the Organization is keen to embrace the change and induct Women Fighter Pilots in near future.
IAF has always maintained that the job of a Fighter Pilot is tough and that Women lack the Physical and Mental prowess to thrive in this job post. Despite other Countries’ Armed Forces inducting Female Fighter Pilots into their Forces, India has so far been stubborn.
But the recent developments are promising. According to the Air Chief, Defence Ministry will think about this proposal and act on it fast. He said that the process to train Female Fighter Pilots will begin only after at least an year and it will be after 3 years that the first batch of Female Fighter Pilots will be inducted.