Meet IAF’s 1st woman Su-30 weapon system operator, ready for any challenge along China border

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  • Post last modified:September 28, 2022
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Amid the ongoing military deployment along the China front, flight lieutenant Tejaswi Ranga Rao, the Indian Air Force’s only female weapon system operator in the deadly Sukhoi-30 fighter fleet, said on September 27 that pilots in the eastern sector were ready to respond to any eventuality in the area and prove their mettle in real operations.

“Being part of any actual operation is what every fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force trains for because that is where we would get to show our mettle. Our pilots from various bases in the eastern sector are ready to respond in case of any eventuality. We are always ready for any kind of tasks and challenges that may come upon us,” Flight Lieutenant Tejaswi told ANI during an interaction at a forward air base close to the China border in the eastern sector.

Speaking about how she felt being part of operations during the ongoing standoff with China at the borders, Tejaswi said, “What runs through, our minds is not very different during demanding times because such operations are an execution of what we practice on a daily basis.”

Another Su-30 fighter pilot, flight lieutenant Sakshya Bajpai, said flying during these wargames is always exciting because it helps pilots prepare better for actual operations. “The training missions help us get oriented, prepare for any contingency, and live up to our motto ‘Touch the Sky with Glory,'” she explained.

Bajpai added that flying fighter jets in the country’s eastern hilly densely forested terrain was difficult, especially given the unpredictable weather.

The Indian Air Force has been flying extensively in the region to keep the Chinese military at bay, with the Su-30 MKI fighter and one squadron of Rafale jets based in 
Hashimara, West Bengal, serving as the force’s mainstay.

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