Tuesday, March 7, 2017

India decommissions its first aircraft carrier INS Viraat

The Indian Navy's first aircraft carrier INS Viraat was decommissioned today in Mumbai after 56 years of service. The ship had its naval ensign and commissioning pennant hauled down one last time during a ceremony attended by all of 21 Indian Navy commanding officers to have commanded the carrier in almost three decades it spent with the Indian Navy.

Prior to coming to India, INS Viraat was known as HMS Hermes, a UK Royal Navy Centaur-class aircraft carrier built by Vickers-Armstrong and commissioned in November 1959. HMS Hermes was sold to India in 1986 and recommissioned into Indian Navy service as INS Viraat. Serving until 2016, Viraat was also the last British-built ship to sail under the Indian Navy flag. (Source: navaltoday.com, 6-Mar-2017)