Meet Shivangi Singh: First Indian Woman to Fly Rafale

Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is set to make history as the first woman to fly Rafale, India’s most modern multi-role fighter aircraft

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NH Web Desk

Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is set to make history as the first woman to fly Rafale, India’s most modern multi-role fighter aircraft. Shivangi, who was inducted into the Air Force in 2017, was the first from the city of Varanasi to become a fighter pilot.

After graduating from the Banaras Hindu University, Singh went on to train at the Air Force Academy. She is part of the second batch of women to fly fighter planes in India, after Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth, and Mohana Singh.

According to sources, Wing Commander Varthaman, who was awarded the Vir Chakra for his part in the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff, has been one of the people Shivangi Singh has trained under.

Flt Lt Singh is currently flying a MiG-21 Bison, the oldest combat aircraft in the force’s inventory. Currently, Flt Lt Singh is reported to be in conversion training. Conversion training is a course that needs to be taken before a pilot switches from flying one aircraft to another.

Flt Lt Shivangi’s conversion training is unique. She will be converting from the IAF’s oldest jet, the MiG-21, to its newest jet, the Rafale. She will move from a border base in Rajasthan to join the Ambala-based 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ once her training is over.

The Rafale jets, known for air-superiority and precision strikes, are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia.

At present, the IAF has 10 women fighter pilots and 18 women navigators. The total strength of women officers serving in the IAF is 1,875.

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