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INS Viraat Aircraft Carrier of Indian Navy

INS Viraat is a Centaur class aircraft carrier in service with the Indian Navy. INS Viraat is the flagship of the Indian Navy, the oldest carrier in service and one of two aircraft carriers based in the Indian Ocean Region.

INS Viraat was completed and commissioned in 1959 as the England Royal Navy's HMS Hermes and was transferred to India in 1987. It then underwent several re-fits with new fire control equipment, navigation radars, improved NBC protection, and installations of deck landing aids for its proper functioning and increased life span.
  • INS Viraat INS Viraat INS Viraat Aircraft Carrier of Indian Navy
  • INS Viraat INS Viraat INS Viraat Celebrating 25 years of Service with Indian Navy
  • Sea Harriers on INS-Viraat Sea Harriers on INS-Viraat
  • INS Viraat INS Viraat INS Viraat served as HMS Hermes with England's Royal Navy
  • INS Viraat INS Viraat INS Viraat is longest serving Aircraft Carrier all around the world.
  • INS Viraat in Malabar Excercise 2007 INS Viraat in Malabar Excercise 2007 INS Viraat steams in formation in the Bay of Bengal during exercise Malabar 07. The multinational exercise includes naval forces from India, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and the United States.
  • INS Viraat on Nat Geo Magazine INS Viraat on Nat Geo Magazine Coverage of INS Viraat by Nat Geo
  • INS Viraat Completed 25 years in Indian Navy INS Viraat Completed 25 years in Indian Navy
  • Sea Harrier Sea Harrier Sea Harrier Taking off of INS Viraat
  • INS Viraat INS Viraat
  • Sea Harriers on INS Viraat Sea Harriers on INS Viraat
  • INS Viraat INS Viraat Indian Navy Sea Harriers and IAF's SEPECAT Jaguars with a USN F/A-18E and a F/A-18F Super Hornet fly past the INS Viraat.
  • Sea Harriers Sea Harriers Sea Harrier complement on INS Viraat deck
  • SeaKing INS Viraat SeaKing INS Viraat Seaking taking off of INS Viraat

The ship's motto is “Any Mission, Any Time, Anywhere”

INS Viraat completed 25 years in the Indian Navy on Saturday, 12th May 2012. INS Viraat has been maintained and run by the Indian Navy for a quarter century after 28 years as HMS Hermes in service with Royal Navy, making Hermes-Viraat one of the longest serving aircraft carrier in the history of naval operations anywhere in the world.

 INS Viraat has done over 40,000 hours of steaming and traversed over 5,00,000 nautical miles across the proverbial seven seas. The ship has undertaken over 20,000 hrs of flying from its deck.

India might keep the aircraft carrier in service until 2020 when  two Indigenous Aircraft Carriers (IACs) seemed likely to be fully operational. By then, the warship would have completed 60 years of service, over twice its initially estimated sailing life of 25 years. , which was the reason to keep Viraat operational until then, according to unnamed Navy officers

INS Viraat is fitted with a 12° ski jump to operate the Sea Harriers, a reinforced flight deck, and 1.2 inches of armour over the magazines and machinery spaces. The magazine capacity includes at least 80 lightweight torpedoes. The vessel retains commando transport capability for up to 750 troops and carries four LCVP landing craft in the aft section. In a wartime scenario, the INS Viraat can embark up to 30 combat aircraft. INS Viraat is suited for two missions: supporting amphibious operations and conducting ASW operations.

INS Viraat's Air complement comprises of  15 Sea Harriers for Air Craft Defence, Kamov Ka-31 Helix-B as Airborne Early Warning system, Sea King Mk. 42B and Kamov Ka-28 Helix-A for Anti-submarine warfare, and Sea King Mk. 42C for commando assault.


  1. LALDO 5 February, 2013 at 10:44

    Better to buy OR Lease the decommisioned USS Aircraft Carrier from USA,which can deploy 100 aircrafts which can really be a threat to china & pakistan rather than INS VIRAAT.

    • Nirranj 17 June, 2013 at 13:11

      You cannot judge a air craft carrier by its age. they like the air crafts they carry are platforms to deliver the pay load you desire to, and are robust machines. In war it all depends on the training imparted in the men who work on these platforms and the courage and presence of mind they have at that time.
      the Mitsubishi zeroes were the highly maneuverable air crafts in the WWII, but the ingenuity if american pilots with the Thach’s weave maneuver, out gunned the zeroes in air…
      In the height of the WWII, the Japanese found no match with the US power, then they devised the kamikaze, and you can count the number of US surface vessels that were sunk.
      Same applies for the Tiger vs T34 in the eastern front.
      Our sailors and pilots are skilled and the constant mission voyages they undertake in the IOR, give them the greatest advantage while defending our motherland from any foreign threat.
      Its a waste of money and resource to unnecessarily buy a carrier when you can extend the service life of the current carrier.
      Now the real concern is not viraat, but the attrition in the harrier fleet.

      Hope Mig 29 fulcrums onboard Vikramaditya will soon complement the Harriers..

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