Aircraft carrier INS Viraat after 30 years of the long journey with Indian Navy has now come to an end. The last journey of this aircraft carrier takes place between the Mumbai and Alang in Gujarat. There the ship will be dismantled and sold as scrap.
It was the first-ever aircraft of the India which has seen many wars in his journey. INS Viraat is one of the aircraft carriers which serve the longest among all the aircraft carrier in the whole world. The ship name is also present in the Guinness World Records for the longest-serving aircraft carrier.
The ship contributes 27 years in the British Royal Navy and rests 30 years in Indian Navy. In total, the carrier has served for 57 years to both the nations which a very long journey. It is also known by the “Grand Old Lady“.
History Of INS Viraat
Before the 30 years of the long journey with the Indian Navy, this warship serves under the British Royal Navy. The ship got commission in November 1959 under the name of HMS(Her Majesty Ship). During her operation in the Royal Navy at that time it can accommodate three wing plane and a chopper.
The category in which the ship comes is the Centaur class which is a light fleet carrier. These types of ships British Royal Navy were using from the World War II time. Also, this ship was a part of the Falklands War against the Argentinian forces in 1982. From 1959 to 1985 the carrier served under the British Royal Navy and after that India bought it from Britain.
At that time India has one aircraft carrier INS Vikrant commission in 1961. The Indian government announced the purchase of this aircraft carrier from British Navy 1985-86. After the purchase of the carrier, it undergoes modernisation as well as up-gradation before using commissioning in the Indian Navy in May 1987.
Service In Indian Navy
There are various motto’s to boost the ideals and moral of individuals. In a similar way, the INS Viraat ship motto was the Sanskrit phrase “Jalamev Yashya, Balamev Tasya” which means “who controls the sea is powerful“.
The speed of the ship on the sea was 28 knots and undergoes three up-gradation along with some minor ones in its 30 years of service. In addition to theone major up-gradation done in the time of commission into Indian Naval fleet. After the modification, the ship accommodates one fix wing aircraft and three helicopters. Also, two anti-submarine aircraft and chetak on board.
After commissioning in the Indian Navy after two years the ship was set out in the field of operations. This warship completes several operations successfully. “Operation Jupiter” and “Operation Parakram” are some of the operations done by this warship. The terror attack on the Indian parliament and war between India and Pakistan in all the places this ship successfully play her role.
The only aircraft carrier operational at this time is the INS Vikramaditya which is 45,500 tonnes. The weight of the INS Viraat is 28,700 tonnes making it the lightest aircraft carriers.
Statement Of The Indian Navy
During the time of decommissioning of this aircraft carrier in March 2017, the Indian Navy gives the statement about INS Viraat. Indian Navy said, “Under the Indian flag the ship has clocked more than 22,622 flying hours by various aircraft and spent nearly 2252 days at sea sailing across 5,88,287 nautical miles. This means Viraat has spent seven years at sea, circumnavigating the Globe 27 times. Since her inception, she has had a total of 80,715 hours of bolier running. Mother as she was fondly referred to in the Navy, had been commanded by the 22 captains since 1987. She was the flagship of the Navy since her inception. Around 40 flag officers including five chief of the Naval Staff were raised and groomed in her lap“.
The ship will now go to the scarp. The Maharastra and Andra Pradesh governments gives suggestion to convert it into the Museum since it was a flag ship for the India. They propose to do the crowd funding for making the ship a museum which was unsuccesful. Later on the centre decides to auction the ship and sold it in scarp. The ship will now recycle at a cost of 38 crores will be done by the firm at Alang in Gujarat.
Currently, India has only one Aircraft carrier i.e. INS Vikramaditya. Indian is planning on adding two more air craft carrier for improving sea defense. Kochi Shipyard is constructing INS Vikrant will be commission very soon in the Indian Navy fleet after sea trails.