Navy will soon induct women sailors

New Delhi, Dec 1  Future naval ships are being constructed with "suitable facilities" to include women sailors and sooner or later, women officers will also be onboard them, Indian Navy chief Sunil Lanba said on Friday.

"As far as combat roles are concerned, lady naval officers are already in combat role. We have over 70 of them (women officers) as observers or tactical operators on the maritime patrol aircraft which are armed, the Boeing (P8I) and the IL 38.

"It is this lady officer who is manning the console, who is going to press the button that is going to fire the missile or drop the torpedo," Admiral Lanba said at the annual press conference of the Navy ahead of the Navy Day.

"As far as serving onboard ships is concerned, we had an issue of availability of facilities onboard. All our new construction ships are being constructed with suitable facilities to embark lady officers on board, we are examining this so that we have the right form, fit, rules and regulation," he said.

"Sooner or later we will also have lady officers serving on ships," the Navy Chief said.

Women form a very minor section in the armed forces, with the IAF having the highest number at 1,350 followed by the Army with 1,300 and the Navy with 450 women officers, according to official information.

The 1.3 million strong armed forces have 59,400 officers.