Hyderabad: Flying Officer Priya Sharma is India’s seventh woman fighter pilot and the third from Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district.
The Flying Officer who completed her stage two training at the Hakimpet Air Force Station is looking forward to flying the MiG-21 fighter air-craft.
Among the 139 Flying Officers belonging to different streams who were inducted into the IAF on Saturday, are two other women officers Flying Officer V. Chandrika Charu and Flying Officer Khandve Shraddha Suresh who chose the helicopter stream.
Speaking to this newspaper, Fg Off Sharma who will be posted at the IAF training centre, Bidar, for her Stage 3 advanced training, said, “I flew the Pilatus PC 7 and the Kiran during my Stage 1 and 2 training at Dundigal and Hakimpet. I look forward to flying the MiG-21.”
Asked why there was only woman fighter pilot in the 2018 batch, Fg Officer Sharma said, “It depends on the preference of cadets. I selected the fighter stream while the other two chose the helicopter stream.”
Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, India first three women fighter pilots, are now flying supersonic fighter jets.
The other two famous women pilots are Squadron Leader Khushboo Gupta, the first IAF woman pilot to fly in the Siachen glacier sector, and Flying Officer Mohana Singh, who graduated from the Global Institute of Management and Emerging Technologies, Amritsar but joined the IAF to fly the MiG-21 Bison.
The Army has proposed to increase intake of women in more non-combat roles such as interpreters and cyber specialists, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on the sidelines of the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy.
It was also mulling recruiting women for the military police, he said....