Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

Donate

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy was held on March 6.

Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat (R 22) aircraft carrier (Photo: HT Photo / Anshuman Poyrekar)

The article is based on the info released by the BMPD blog

On the evening of March 6, an official ceremony of decommission of the R 22 Viraat aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy took place on the territory of the Mumbai Naval Dockyard. The Viraat, former HMS Hermes of the British Royal Navy, sailed under the Indian flag since 1987 and for a long time was the flagship of the Indian fleet. The Viraat was the oldest aircraft carrier in-commission in the world and set up a historic record of duration of service for aircraft carriers (over 57 years).

More than 1,300 current and former crew members, several dozens of former members of the Hermes’ crew, as well as the current commanders of the British and Indian Navy, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones and Chief of the Indian Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, attended the ceremony.

The vessel was originally laid down for the British Navy at the Vickers-Armstrong shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness on June 21, 1944. The ship was named Elephant and should have become the fourth light aircraft carrier of the Centaur type. In 1945, after the end of the Second World War, aircraft carrier’s construction was suspended. In 1951, the vessel was renamed as the R 12 Hermes, and, in 1952, the construction work was resumed. The aircraft carrier was floated out on February 16, 1953, and after an enough long fitting-out on a completely redesigned project it entered the British fleet on November 18, 1959.

In April 1986, Hermes was purchased by India for £63 million. After a 12-month repair in Portsmouth, the vessel was put into service in the Indian Navy as the R 22 Viraat on May 12, 1987, and became the second aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. After decommission of the R 11 Vikrant, the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, in 1997, the Viraat became the only aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy until the R 33 Vikramaditya aircraft carrier entered into service in the Indian Navy in 2013.

According to Indian data, the aircraft carrier spent 2,250 days in the sea and passed 1,094 215 kilometers, being a part of the Indian fleet. In August-September of 2016, some equipment was partially dismantled from the ship in Cochin, after this, on October 23-28, it was towed to Mumbai for the subsequent decommission.

Speaking to reporters at the ceremony, the Chief of the Indian Naval Staff said that the final fate of the decommissioned ship has not been determined yet. It can be handed over to the government of Andhra Pradesh state that would like to turn it into a museum or be sunk and used as an artificial reef. According to Lanba, the final decision should be made within four months, otherwise the Navy will sell the ship for scrap.

Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat (R 22) aircraft carrier (Photo: HT Photo / Anshuman Poyrekar)

Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat (R 22) aircraft carrier (Photo: HT Photo / Anshuman Poyrekar)

Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat (R 22) aircraft carrier (Photo: HT Photo / Anshuman Poyrekar)

Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat (R 22) aircraft carrier (Photo: HT Photo / Anshuman Poyrekar)

Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat (R 22) aircraft carrier (Photo: HT Photo / Anshuman Poyrekar)

Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat (R 22) aircraft carrier (Photo: HT Photo / Anshuman Poyrekar)

Indian Navy Decommissions Its Viraat Aircraft Carrier (Photo & Video)

An official ceremony of decommission of the Viraat (R 22) aircraft carrier (Photo: HT Photo / Anshuman Poyrekar)

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • Simon Abruzzo

    RIP

  • Peter Moy

    Convert the ship into a museum and preserve a part of naval history.