For the first time in India’s history, Sukhoi 30 Mki piloted by Sqn Ldr Avani Chaturvedi landed in Japan today to participate in aerial wargames exercise with Japan. This is the first instance of a woman air warrior leading an Indian fighter squadron on foreign soil. She is the first female pilot to participate in international events.
The exercise - titled 'Veer Guardian 2023' - is slated to be held from January 12 to 26 at the Hyakuri Air Base in Omitama, and the Iruma Air Base in Sayama. The wargames are intended to promote air defence cooperation between the two countries.
“An IAF contingent will depart tomorrow for Hyakuri Air Base, Japan for the maiden Exercise Veer Guardian 2023 to be held with Japan Air Self Defence Force from 12 to 26 January 2023. IAF will participate with four Su-30 MKI, two C-17 Globemasters and an IL-78 tanker," the Indian Air Force had tweeted last week.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force will also be participating with four F-2 and four F-15 aircrafts.
Squadron leader Chaturvedi was inducted into the Indian Air Force Indian Air Force fighter squadron in June 2016 alongside Mohana Jitarwal and Bhawana Kanth. In 2018, she became the first Indian woman pilot to take a solo flight in an MiG-21 aricraft. The same year, she was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
In March 2020, she was awarded the Nari Shakti Purashkar by President Ram Nath Kovind.
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