INS Viraat retires: Know about the glorious aircraft carrier of Indian Navy
A view of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat docked at the Naval Dockyard ahead of its decommissioning after 30 years of service. Pic/PTI
Bidding adieu to a glorious career, INS Viraat, the second aircraft carrier in the Indian naval fleet, is being decommissioned today. Here are some things you need to know about the ship.
>> INS Viraat was originally commissioned by the British Royal Navy as HMS Hermes on November 18, 1959, 15 years after she was laid down in June 1944. She served as the flagship of the Royal Navy's task force during the Falkland Islands campaign in 1982 and was decommissioned from active duty in 1985. In April 1986, Hermes was towed from Portsmouth Dockyard to Devonport Dockyard to be refitted, re-activated and sold to India.
>> In the late 80s, Indian Navy purchased it at the cost of USD 65 million and was re-commissioned on May 12, 1987.
>> The motto of the outgoing warship, INS Viraat was 'Jalamev Yasya, Balmev Tasya' (Sanskrit, meaning - One Who Controls the Sea is All Powerful).
>> It housed the fighters 'White Tigers' - the Sea Harriers of INAS 300, which were decomissioned in Goa in May 2016, anti-submarine aircraft Sea King MK42B, Sea King MK42C or 'Harpoons', SAR helicopter Chetan, besides ALH 'Dhruv' and Russian twin rotor Kamov-31.
>> Under the Indian flag, she clocked more than 22,622 flying hours by various aircraft, spent around 2,252 days at sea sailing 10,94,215 km, and since her inception her boiler was running for 80,715 hours.
>> She played a major role in the Operation Jupiter in 1989 in Sri Lankan Peace Keeping operations, Operation Parakram in 2001-2002 when India and Pakistan were in a stand-off post-terror strikes on Indian Parliament, among others.
INS Viraat. Pic/PTI
>> She took part in various international joint exercises like Exercise Malabar (USA), Exercise Varuna (France), Naseem-Al-Bahar (Oman), at all the annual theatre level war exercise, TROPEX and her last operational deployment was at the International Fleet Review, Visakhapatnam, in February 2016.
>> With a full load displacement of 28,700 tonnes, the 226.5 metres long and 48.78 metres wide ship was manned by 150 officers and 1,500 sailors.