India’s indigenous warships may have women officers onboard

February 24th, 2009 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Envisaging a 20 percent women crew on the future Indian Navy warships, the first indigenous aircraft carrier is designed to have berthing facilities for women officers.
Currently women are not allowed onboard Indian warships. However, the indigenous aircraft carrier, whose keel laying will take place Feb 28, is designed to accommodate a crew of over 300 women officers.

“The aircraft carrier is very futuristic. While designing it, we have kept in mind a greater role for the women officers in the navy. We foresee 20 percent of the crew comprising of women officers,” a senior navy official said, requesting anonymity.

The first indigenous aircraft carrier is expected to have a 40,000-tonne displacement capacity and will carry a crew of 1,600 sailors.

In the Indian Navy, which currently has 258 women officers, women are inducted as officers in the education branch, the logistics and law cadres of the executive branch and in the air traffic control (ATC). However, they are at present not being posted to serve afloat due to the present design of ships and submarines.

“The congested living conditions do not allow a mixed crew onboard ships. However, the new ships like Shivalik class stealth frigates and Kolkata class destroyers will have facilities for women,” the official added.

The Indian Navy had, in fact, some years ago tried the experiment to allow women officers on sea-faring warships, but the scheme was discontinued soon after.

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