No Women Fighter Pilots in Navy for now
Indian Navy Officers
NEW DELHI: After Air Force, it is Indian Navy which is now mulling over the possibility of inducting women as pilots. Admiral Robin Dhowan has sent a letter to the Defence Ministry to propose for women the role as pilots. "It's under consideration. The government will have to take a view, a policy decision," he said. Although he said that they won’t be deployed on warship as yet.
Navy currently employs 532 women officers, including 51 “observers” who fly Dorniers and P-81, for the purpose of navigation and reconnaissance.
The letter from Navy to the Defence chief has been sent after a decision was made last week by the Air Force Chief Arup Raha, which prescribed the induction of women in the role of fighter pilots which was so far was out of bounds.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too welcomed the move after initially expressing his apprehensions over the physical limitation of women in comparison to the male counterparts. It is also believed that political brass for long vetoed and curtailed the role of women in frontline because of the fear what will happen to them if they are taken as Prisoners of wars (PoW).
The same has been the reason that while new inroads are being made in the aerial combat roles for women, they far from being considered as combatants on ground, in infantry and armed forces, which require them to fight in close proximity with the enemy.
"The Indian Navy has been inducting women officers since 1992... we are not lagging behind anybody (other navies). We are very proud of our women officers, who serve in several fields like air traffic control and observers on aircraft to education, legal and naval constructor wings. The aspect now is how to increase their participation in other areas," said Admiral Dhowan.