Breaking the stereotypes and elevating to the highest platform of nature, an Indian woman will set a mark in history by flying supersonic fighter jet all by herself for the first time in the country.
Avani Chaturvedi, Bhavana Kanth, and Mohana Singh have already undertaken their own flights in aircraft like the Pilatus PC-7 turboprops, Kiran and Hawk jet trainers, which are comparatively easier to handle during their training. However, now the time has come when Avani and Bhavana, at their respective airbases, will fly the high-demanding and aging MiG-21 BISONS ( which are basically meant to intercept incoming enemy aircraft), having the speed of 340 kmph, virtually the highest landing and take off speed.
“Avani is already undertaking sorties in a twin-seat MiG-21 Type 69 trainer with a qualified fighter instructor (QFI) at the Suratgarh airbase. Bhawana will follow suit at the Ambala airbase soon. Mohana, in turn, is still with Hawk advanced jet trainers at the Kalaikunda airbase…She will also be posted to an operational squadron in due course,” said a senior officer to the TOI.
It has to be taken into account that flying jets solo does not mean they promptly turn into full-fledged fighter pilots, capable of handling the intricacies of high-voltage combat flying.
After handling this, these women pilots will graduate to tactical flying and maneuvers which will be followed by air to air and air to ground combats. Only after they become “fully (ops) operational by day” on the MiG-21s, they will be experiencing night flying first in the moon phase and then in the dark phase.
They will later be prepared for air defense missions” over Indian territory in the event of war.
“A fighter pilot is declared ‘fully ops’ only after successfully undergoing this entire process, which takes upwards of a year,” said another officer according to the sources.
Apart from citing “operational, practical and cultural problems”, The military brass is not yet ready to deal with the possibility of women being trapped, tortured, raped or being taken as PoWs behind the enemy lines during the wars,
It is one important step of standing up for the generalized perception of ‘women’ which persists even today. We wish and hope that women continue to grow in their respective fields and engrave their names like never before in the books of Indian History.