India may train women to fly fighter jets

Nov. 25, 2009 at 7:57 PM
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PUNE, India, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Indian President Pratibha Patil said Wednesday her nation may soon train women as fighter pilots.

Patil, the first woman to head the Indian armed forces, Wednesday became the first Indian president to ride in a supersonic fighter jet. During a visit to the Lohegaon Air Force Base in Pune, she boarded an SU-30MKI jet for the trip, Itar-Tass reported.

India deploys more than 100 of the Russian-made jets and is considering more than doubling the number, the Hindustan Times reported.

Patil noted that women are already flying helicopters and transport planes in all three of India's military services.

"And now we are talking of bringing them into the fighter stream," she said. "The country has proactive thinking and women are also proactive. Let us see when a decision is taken."

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