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Navy mulling to commission women as pilots: Dhowan

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NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: Within a week of the Indian Air Force declaring that it intends to induct women as fighter aircraft pilots, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan on Wednesday said they would soon commission women as naval pilots, though for flying surveillance aircraft.

However, there are no plans to send women on warships as of now, said Admiral Dhowan.

“Indian Navy is not lagging behind. We are very proud of our women officers,” Dhowan said at a press conference relating to the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam next year.

He said women were involved in different activities in the navy as air traffic controllers and observers on board aircraft, and in training, education, legal branches and even in overseeing various aspects related to construction of ships.

“We have taken up with the defence ministry a proposal that is still under consideration to see how women pilots can be allowed in our maritime reconnaissance aircraft. It is something which is under consideration. The government will have to take a view,” Admiral Dhowan said.

According to navy officials, the proposal was now with the defense ministry.

About the induction of women in combat role in the navy, he said it would depend on the government policy.

“As far as the combat aspect is concerned, it has to be in consonance with the policy of the government of India, the policy of defence ministry, as applicable to the three armed forces. As and when we look at the aspect of changes that come about, we will proceed step by step,” he said.

According to sources, the navy is facing a problem in induction of women on warships due to lack of facilities like separate toilets and constricted space.

However, designing of ships in future to accommodate women staff is under consideration, the sources added.

(With inputs from IANS)

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IAF Jets carry out Drill on Agra-Lucknow Expressway

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IAF's Mirage 2000
IAF's Mirage 2000 stationed at Gwalior Air Base. Wikimedia

Lucknow, October 25: Several aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday touched down and took off as part of a special drill on a 4-kilometre stretch of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.

The exercise by the IAF, in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh government, saw a C-130 J Super Hercules transport aircraft make a short landing on the highway, around 65 km from Lucknow.

Garud Commandos disembarked from the aircraft, on foot as well as on a Gypsy, onto the highway-cum-runway.

It took off again, after which around 15 fighter jets touched down or made low overshoot over the highway.

This is the first time a transport aircraft participated in such an exercise in India.

The jets included three Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, two formations of three aircraft each of Mirage 2000s and two formations of three aircraft each of Sukhoi-30.

The exercise culminated with the C-130 J returning for another short landing.

C-130_J
C-130J-30 SUPER HERCULES tactical airlift aircraft stationed at IAF’s Air Base at Hindon. Wikimedia

“This is an important exercise for war as well as peacetime in case of emergencies like providing humanitarian assistance, evacuation or distribution of relief material,” spokesperson Gargi Malik Sinha said.

On May 21, 2016, a Mirage 2000 had touched down on the Yamuna Expressway.

A number of highways have been cleared by the government for being used as an airstrip for emergencies.(IANS)

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7 killed, after Mi-17 V5 an IAF Chopper Crashed in Arunachal

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IAF chopper Mi-17 v5
IAF chopper Mi-17 V5, at Yelhanka, Air Force Station. Wikimedia

Tawang, October 6:  Seven Indian Air Force personnel were killed after a Mi-17 V5, IAF Chopper Crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.

Tawang district Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Meena said the IAF Chopper Crashed around 6.30 a.m. killing all the seven people on board.

The chopper was on a routine Air Maintenance Mission, Meena quoted a Defence officer as saying.

The crash site is located at some four-to-five hours drive from Tawang. “It is a forested area,” Meena said adding that the bodies are being brought to the helipad near Tawang.

“We are told that there were no civilians and all were defence personnel,” he said.

Earlier in July an Indian Air Force chopper engaged in a flood rescue mission crashed near Papum Pare district in the hill state killing four persons including three IAF crew and one India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel.

The frequently changing weather condition in Arunachal Pradesh makes flying of choppers difficult in the area and there have been several incidents of crashes in the hill state in the past.

The then Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Dorjee Khandu, and four others also died in an IAF Chopper Crashed in the hill state in 2011. (IANS)

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India has ‘Plan B’, ready for any challenge from China, says Indian Air Force Chief B S Dhanoa

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ACM Dhanoa
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa.

New Delhi, Oct 5: Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa on Thursday said India is prepared to counter any threat from China and was also ready to face a two-front war.

Addressing the annual press conference of the IAF ahead of Air Force Day, the Indian Air Force Chief said they have a ‘Plan B’ to cater for the shortage of strength if there is a situation of war on two fronts.

“We need a strength of 42 squadrons to carry out full spectrum operations, but it doesn’t mean we can’t fight a two-front scenario. There is a Plan B,” he said when asked about being prepared for a two-front war.

He also said the possibility of a two-front war in the current geopolitical scenario is low.

He said “our capability is adequate” to counter any threat from the Eastern side — China.

The Indian Air Force Chief also said more than assets, the question was what China can and cannot do operating from Tibet against India.

He also said that Chinese troops are still stationed in the Chumbi valley, of which Doklam is a part, and hoped that they return soon.

Dhanoa said: “We are not in physical face-off but in Chumbi valley their troops are still deployed.”

“Hope they will withdraw in future after their exercises are over,” the IAF chief said.

He also said that there was no face-off in the air during the over 70 days long standoff and there were no air violations.

“I take this opportunity to assure the nation of our sacred resolve in defending the sovereignty of our skies,” he added.(IANS)