In a first, women pilots will be inducted into combat stream of the Indian Air Force (IAF), following the Defence Ministry's approval on Saturday.

The first combat women pilots will be selected from the current batch of the Air Force Academy, stated the ministry.

"We are now planning to induct them into the fighter stream to meet the aspirations of young women of India," Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said during the 83rd Air Force Day parade.

Earlier, women were inducted only as transport and helicopter pilots. The new move will make them eligible for streams such as Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation (Air Traffic Control), Army Air Defence, Ordinance, Intelligence and others. 

There are reportedly around 1,500 women in the Air Force, including 94 pilots and 14 navigators.

The first set of women pilots will be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016 and after receiving advanced training, they will enter the fighter pilot cockpit in 2017.