The Russian Air Force will begin training female military pilots, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said.

Shoigu is quoted as telling journalists: “There are so many young women who want to become military pilots. We receive hundreds of letters [from them].

“Therefore, we decided that this year we’ll recruit the first group of women to the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School.”

Fifteen female cadets will begin training to become military pilots on October 1, Shoigu said.

However, he added: “There will not be many of them… but given the number of applications received to the Air Force, we can’t ignore those requests.”

This training will take place at the Krasnodar military aviation school, in the south of Russia. According to state news agency Tass, the academy has been accepting women since 2009, but not for pilot training.