Shivangi Singh, India’s first woman pilot to fly a Rafale fighter jet, was part of the Indian Air Force tableau at the Republic Day parade on Wednesday. Shivangi is the second female fighter jet pilot in the IAF tableau, following Bhawna Kanth, who was the first female fighter jet pilot in the IAF tableau.
The news: The Indian Air Force, transforming for the Future was the theme of this year’s IAF tableau. Following the march past in 12 rows and 8 columns, a tableau appeared on Rajpath, displaying scaled-down models of the Rafale fighter jet, an indigenously developed light combat helicopter (LCH), and the 3D surveillance radar Aslesha MK-1. It also included a scaled-down model of the MiG-21 aircraft, which played an important role in the 1971 war.
Who’s who: Shivangi Singh joined the Indian Air Force in 2017 and was commissioned as a fighter pilot in the IAF’s second batch of female pilots.
- Shivangi previously piloted a MiG-21 Bison before taking on the Rafale.Shivangi hails from Varanasi and is a member of the Indian Air Force’s Golden Arrows squadron based in Ambala, Punjab.
- Shivangi Singh became the first woman fighter pilot to fly Rafale in 2020 after being chosen as a Rafale pilot following a rigorous selection process.
The first batch of Rafale fighter planes arrived on July 29, 2020, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to purchase 36 planes for 59,000 crore. So far, 32 Rafale jets have been delivered to the IAF, with four more scheduled to arrive in April of this year.