No plan to induct women fighter pilots in IAF: Air chief

"We are yet to study the induction of women as fighter pilots by some countries including Pakistan. Moreover, it is a decision which the IAF alone cannot take," Naik told reporters on the sidelines of President Standard Presentation ceremony.

However, the IAF chief said "we have 790 women officers in the IAF and some of them are also flying helicopters and transport vehicles which is a matter of pride for us". Expressing concern over the fighter plane mishaps, Naik said "losing a pilot is more worrisome for us instead of losing a plane". But he claimed that the IAF has succeeded in bringing down the accidents in past some years.

"We are addressing the issue of human error, which is one of the main reasons behind these crashes. But we need to do a profound audit of these accidents and find a cause of every accident," he said. Naik said ageing of fighter plans was also an issue, which needed to be addressed.

But he maintained that "the figure can never be zero". On Medium Multi-role Combat Aircrafts (MMCA), Naik said that the IAF had sent a requisition for 126 MMCAs. The trial comprising three phases will be completed by April end. "After that we will prepare our report to be submitted to the government which will decide the further course of action," Naik said.

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