Shivangi Singh, The first Women Fighter Pilot to fly the Rafale

After the race for Women pilot in Indian Air Force, Shivangi Singh from Banaras was given chance to fly the Rafale. Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh will be Rafale aircraft’s first women pilot. Let us know some details about Shivangi Singh briefly.

Shivangi Singh was born on 15th March 1995 in Paroo, Muzaffarpur, Bihar. She was born to school teacher Hari Bhushan Singh and house wife Priyanka Singh. Here ancestors were agriculturals. She was inspired to become a pilot after seeing a politician using helicopter to attend political meetings. Jer father has now became Principal to the girls-only government school constructed on land donated by Shivangi’s great grandfather.

She completed her B. tech in Mechanical Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology and also completed her Master’s from Malaviya National Institute of Technology. Her Marrital status is not married.

Shivangi got admitted into the Indian Navy under the Short Service Commission (SSC)-Pilot entry scheme. In June 2018, she was commissioned into the Indian Navy. She had taken two successive six month courses; first the Naval Orientation Course at the Indian Naval Academy, and the second at Air Force Academy where she trained on the Pilatus PC 7 MkII aircraft. In the six months prior to December 2019, she learnt flying the Dornier aircraft at the Indian Naval Air Squadron 550. Shivangi became the first female pilot of the Indian Navy on 2 December 2019. She was ordered to fly the MiG-21 Bison. She subsequently became an operational pilot on Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) aircraft after completing her training, as of December 2019.

She will now fly the Dassault Rafale with the No. 17 Squadron IAF post completion of the Type conversion she is undergoing, making her the first Indian woman to fly the Rafale. She will formally join the 17 ‘Golden Arrows’ Squadron of the 4.5-generation Rafales at the Ambala airbase after she finishes her “conversion training”, which is required when a combat pilot switches from one fighter to another. She was among the second batch of women fighter pilots who were commissioned in 2017. IAF currently has 10 women fighter pilots, who have undergone the arduous training to fly supersonic jets. After joining IAF, she was orders to fly the MiG-21 Bison aircraft and was till recently serving at a fighter base in Rajasthan, the officials added on condition of anonymity. IAF’s current fleet of five Rafale fighters is fully operational and are ready to undertake any mission. IAF is operating its Rafale fighter jets in the Ladakh theatre where the military is on its highest state of alert, amid heightened border tensions with China.

The count of women in the military is now more than 4,000, but combat roles were off limits to them until IAF took the lead in crushing internal resistance to induct them into the fighter stream. Sub Lieutenants Kumudini Tyagi and Riti Singh have been selected for the helicopter stream.

India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in a deal worth Rs 59,000 crore in September 2016. The air force formally inducted the planes at the Ambala air base on September 10 though they landed at their home base on July 29. The next batch of three to four Rafale jets is expected to reach Ambala from France in October followed by a third batch in December. All deliveries will be completed by the end of 2021.

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