By Arré Bench Sep. 24, 2020
Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh has made history after becoming the first woman pilot to join Rafale’s “Golden Arrows” Squadron in Ambala. The officer has been flying the MiG-21 Bison aircraft, and had been serving at a fighter base in Rajasthan, where she was trained by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
The Rafale jet deal has been in conversation for over a year, with a majority of it centred around alleged corruption in the procurement of the aircraft. Earlier this week, however, all that chatter made way for a proud moment for one of India’s daughters.
Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh has made history after becoming the first woman pilot to join Rafale’s “Golden Arrows” Squadron in Ambala, after the aircraft were formally inducted into the Indian Air Force on September 10, reports say.
Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is on her way to formally join the Golden Arrows squadron operating the Rafale fighter jets. Here's what you need to know about her. https://t.co/vTlexHVMK1
— News18.com (@news18dotcom) September 24, 2020
Flight Lt Singh, who is from Varanasi, is currently undergoing conversion training to fly the jet, and will soon join Ambala’s No. 17 squadron. The officer has so far been flying the MiG-21 Bison aircraft, and had been serving at a fighter base in Rajasthan, a source said in Hindustan Times.
She is Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh.
She hails from Varanasi.
Today, Lietenant Singh flew a Rafale for the Indian Airforce alongside Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
She is the first woman ever to fly a Rafale.
Dear India, choose your idols wisely.pic.twitter.com/c5gAOqUEvp
— Soumyadipta (@Soumyadipta) September 24, 2020
In Rajasthan, Lt Singh worked alongside one of India’s most well-known fighter pilots — Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman — who was credited with shooting down a Pakistani fighter jet last year before being taken captive across the border. The Wing Commander is said to have personally been involved in Lt Singh’s training.
Lt Singh was recently included in one of the first batches of women combat pilots to be inducted into the IAF, following a watershed ruling in 2015 on the role of women in the armed forces. The IAF currently has 10 women fighter pilots, who have undergone the training required to fly supersonic jets, the Times of India said.
Shivangi Singh to be first #Rafale
woman fighter pilot
Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is getting set to graduate to flying the omni-role Rafale after becoming fully-operational on the ageing MiG-21 ‘Bison’
— The Times Of India (@timesofindia) September 24, 2020
The officer is a graduate of the Banaras Hindu University, and was a part of the 7 UP Air Squadron in the National Cadet Corps. She proceeded to train at the Air Force Academy in 2016. In an interview from the following year, Lt Singh was quoted as saying it was her dream to “fly like a free bird” that inspired her to join the Force.
“It is a matter of pride for us. She worked hard, we supported her. We are very happy today,” her father was quoted as saying after the announcement.
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) September 23, 2020
Varanasi: Family of Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh, celebrates at their residence, as she is set to be the first woman fighter pilot in Rafale squadron of Indian Air Force. She is currently undergoing conversion training and will soon be inducted into Golden Arrows squadron. pic.twitter.com/EjqyxcQHxC
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 24, 2020
As the flight lieutenant celebrates this massive achievement with her family, we’re sure she will soon emerge as a role model to young women across the country. Kudos to her.