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Tejaswi Rao becomes IAF’s first woman weapon system officer


Flying Officer Tejaswi Ranga Rao is the first woman to be selected to be a weapons systems officer in the Sukhoi-30 fleet – the Indian Air Force’s frontline air-dominance fighter aircraft.

A weapon systems officer or a “wizzo” as commonly known in Air Force, is a flight officer directly involved in all air operations and weapon systems of a military aircraft, which is considered a highly specialized task. In laymen terms, they are the flight officers who ride behind the pilot to maintain the aircraft’s systems. 

Flying Officer Tejaswi, who belongs to Bangalore, was born to R Ranga Rao, currently a chief manager in State Bank of India, and Radhika Ranga Rao, a homemaker. Her parents are settled in Pune.

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Attributing a large part of her accomplishment to her parents, Tejaswi says her family has always played a major role in encouraging her towards her goals and feels that if family supports, the world can’t stop a person from being better each day.

After finishing school in Chennai, Tejaswi joined NCC (National Cadet Corps) while pursuing her BSc in Biotechnology, Chemistry and Genetics from Bangalore. After a year’s training at the Navigation Training School of the Indian Air Force, she graduated as part of the navigation course from Air Force Academy on June 20. Tejaswi credits Indian Air Force in a big way for all her success and achievements as a WSO (weapons systems officer).

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