Women pilots to now run IAF's Chinook sorties

Women pilots to now run IAF's Chinook sorties

Both Bharadwaj and Rathore have moved to CH-47F Chinook units based in Chandigarh and Assam’s Mohanbari respectively

Representative image. Credit: AFP File Photo

For the first time in India, women combat pilots have been assigned Indian Air Force’s frontline Chinook helicopter unit. Pilots Parul Bharadwaj and Swati Rathore had been flying Russian-origin Mi-17V5 helicopters prior to their latest endeavour.

These helicopters play a crucial role in supporting the Indian Army near the Line of Actual Control(LAC). The multi mission Chinook, costing Rs 650 crore apiece, is the latest addition to the air force fleet that has been imported from the US.

In conversation with Hindustan Times, Air Marshal Anil Chopra said, “Moving from M-17s to Chinooks is a noteworthy development. Women in the air force are moving to the next level in their careers.”

Before being assigned the responsibility of Chinook, Parul Bharadwaj captained the Mi-17V5’s maiden all women flight in 2019 and Rathore was the first woman helicopter pilot to fly an Mi-17V5 in a four-helicopter formation over the Kartavya Path.

Both Bharadwaj and Rathore have moved to CH-47F Chinook units based in Chandigarh and Assam’s Mohanbari respectively.

Not only in the air force, Women in all of India's armed forces have been witnessing several new opportunities in recent times. In another first, women candidates joined the National Defence Academy this year.

Check out DH's latest videos

Check out DH's latest videos

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox