Indian Navy gets its first woman pilot

In a first, a woman has been inducted as a pilot into the Indian Navy. Shubhangi Swaroop, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, will soon be flying Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft.

Three other women cadets - Astha Segal from New Delhi, Roopa A from Puducherry and Sakthi Maya S from Kerala - also scripted history by becoming the country's first women officers at the Naval Armament Inspectorate (NAI) branch of the navy.

After their naval orientation course, all the four, in their early 20s, passed out of the Ezhimala Naval Academy at a glittering function here on Wednesday, attended by naval chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.

It's a dream come true for Shubhangi, the daughter of a naval commander. Though she is the first naval woman pilot, the navy's aviation branch has had women officers operating as air traffic control officers and as 'observers' in the aircraft who are responsible for communication and weapons, said Sreedhar Warrier, southern naval spokesperson.

The NAI branch is responsible for auditing and assessing the state of weapons and ammunition of the navy.

All the four will undergo subsequent professional training in their chosen branches before being employed on duty, Warrier said.

Shubhangi will be trained at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad which trains pilots of the army, navy and the air force.

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