In a first, two women officers in the Indian Navy have been selected to join as 'Observers' (Airborne tacticians) in the helicopter stream onboard warships. Sub Lt Kumudini Tyagi and Sub Lt Riti Singh will be the first women officers to become the navy's first airborne combatants and will operate helicopters onboard warships.
The Rear Admiral Antony highlighted the fact that it was a landmark occasion wherein for the first-time women are going to be trained in helicopter operations which would ultimately pave way for the deployment of women in frontline warships of the Indian Navy.
Sub Lt Tyagi and Sub Lt Singh will be the first women officers who will be deployed on a navy warship as part of the ship's crew. Earlier, women were restricted to fixed-wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore.
The two officers are part of a group of 17 officers of the Indian Navy, including four women officers, and three officers of the Indian Coast Guard, who were awarded "Wings" on graduating as "Observers" at a ceremony held on Monday at INS Garuda in Kochi, the navy said in a statement.
The group comprised 13 officers of Regular batch and four women officers of Short Service Commission batch.
The news of deployment of women onboard warships comes on a day when the Indian Air Force's all-male Rafale squadron announced that it is set to get its first woman fighter pilot soon.
IAF's 10 current active women fighter pilots are undergoing conversion training and will begin active duties flying Rafale jets with the 17 Squadron soon.