Indian Navy gets first female pilot - Shubhangi Swaroop
New Delhi : Shubhangi Swaroop has become the first woman to be inducted as a pilot in the Indian Navy. She will soon fly Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft.
Swaroop, along with Astha Segal from New Delhi, Roopa A from Puducherry and Sakthi Maya S from Kerala, is among the first four female cadets to pass out of the Ezhimala Naval Academy.
Segal, Roopa and Sakthi also created history by becoming the country's first women officers at the Naval Armament Inspectorate (NAI) branch of the Navy.
Indian Navy is second defence service after Indian Air Force to allow women in fighter stream, after government's recent decision to try it on an experimental basis.
Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, who were the first women fighter pilots of the country, were commissioned as flying officers in July last year and completed their training earlier this month.
A dream come true
For Shubhangi, who is the daughter of a Naval commander, its a dream come true on being selected as a pilot. Though Shubhangi is the first Naval woman pilot, the Navy's Aviation branch has had women officers operating as air traffic control officers and as observers in the aircraft who are responsible for communication and weapons, Southern Naval spokesperson Commander Sreedhar Warrier told PTI.
The NAI branch is responsible for auditing and assessing the state of weapons and ammunition of the Navy. All the four will be undergoing subsequent professional training in their respective chosen branches before being employed on duty, Commander Warrier said.
Shubhangi will be trained at the Air Force Academy at Hyderabad which trains pilots of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, he said.