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Business News/ News / India/  For the first time, Indian woman fighter pilot to lead air exercise with Japan

The country's first woman fighter pilot is set to be a part of the Indian contingent that will feature in aerial wargames with Japan. Sukhoi-30MKI Squadron Leader Avni Chaturvedi will leave for Japan shortly to participate in the aerial wargames. This will be the first instance of a woman air warrior leading an Indian fighter sqaudron on foreign soil.

The exercise - titled 'Veer Guardian 2023' - is slated to be held from January 12 to 26 at the Hyakuri Air Base in Omitama, and the Iruma Air Base in Sayama. The wargames are intended to promote air defence cooperation between the two countries.

“An IAF contingent will depart tomorrow for Hyakuri Air Base, Japan for the maiden Exercise Veer Guardian 2023 to be held with Japan Air Self Defence Force from 12 to 26 January 2023. IAF will participate with four Su-30 MKI, two C-17 Globemasters and an IL-78 tanker," the Indian Air Force tweeted today.

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force will incidentally be participating with four F-2 and four F-15 aircrafts.

Squadron leader Chaturvedi was inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron in June 2016 alongside Mohana Jitarwal and Bhawana Kanth. In 2018, she became the first Indian woman pilot to take a solo flight in an MiG-21 aricraft. The same year, she was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

In March 2020, she was awarded the Nari Shakti Purashkar by President Ram Nath Kovind.

"We are very lucky that we have got an opportunity to fulfill our dreams because when we joined there was no option for women to join fighters' team…Once we got our training staged we got the news that we would be allowed so I would like to say that Air Force has supported us a lot to achieve our dreams," she had said at the time.

"Being a woman and first does not matter much, being a fighter pilot matters," she had added.

(With inputs from agencies)


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Updated: 08 Jan 2023, 12:21 AM IST
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