Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth becomes 1st fighter pilot to qualify to undertake combat missions

Published: May 22, 2019, 20:34 IST | mid-day online desk

Bhawana Kanth is the first woman fighter pilot to be qualified to undertake missions by day on a fighter aircraft. she will be allowed to carry out night operations once she completes training for night missions

Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth  becomes 1st fighter pilot to qualify to undertake combat missions
Bhawana Kanth. Pic/Twitter IANS

On May 22, 2019, flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth scripted history when she became the first woman pilot of the Indian Air Force to qualify to undertake combat missions on a fighter jet. Officials of the IAF said that Kanth has completed operational syllabus for carrying out combat missions on Mig-21 Bison aircraft during day time.

"She is the first woman fighter pilot to be qualified to undertake missions by day on a fighter aircraft," IAF Spokesperson Group Capt Anupam Banerjee said. At present, Bhawana Kanth is posted at the Nal base in Bikaner. Another official said that she will be allowed to carry out night operations once she completes training for night missions.

Flight Lieutenant Bhawana joined the fighter squadron in November 2017 and flew the first solo on MiG-21 Bison in March last year. "With her dedication, hard work and perseverance she has become the first woman officer of the IAF to achieve this feat," said Group Capt Banerjee. She is from the first batch of women fighter pilots of the IAF.

Three women -- Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi, and Mohana Singh - were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis. The IAF has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.

The IAF took to Twitter to announce the good news of Bhawana Kanth scripting history and becoming the first woman fighter pilot to be qualified to undertake missions by day on a fighter aircraft. They wrote: Bhawana joined the fighter squadron in Nov 2017 & flew the 1st solo on MiG-21 Bison in Mar 2018. With her dedication, hard work & perseverance she has become the 1st women Officer to achieve this feat. She is from the first batch of women fighter pilots of the IAF.

Netizens too took to the IAF post and congratulated the young officer on her rare achievement. Here's how netizens reacted on Bhawana's rare feat:

With inputs from PTI

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