World’s oldest aircraft carrier INS Viraat decommissioned
The world’s longest serving warship INS Viraat was decommissioned by the Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, Maharashtra after nearly six decades of service.
This marks the end of an era of Viraat being the flagship of the Indian Navy as it had provided utmost protection to the country during many tense situations. The decision on the warship’s future has not been taken yet.
- INS Viraat holds Guinness Books of record of being the longest serving warship in the world. It was also the last British-built ship serving with the Indian Navy.
- It was built in 1943 during the Second World War and was first commissioned as the HMS Hermes into the British Royal Navy in November 1959.
- During the Falklands War in 1982, the aircraft carrier had served as the flagship of the Royal Navy’s task force. British navy had decommissioned in 1985 after 27 years of service.
- It had sailed nearly 11 lakh km, enough to cover the globe 27 times. It had spent 30 years in the Indian Navy and 27 years in the Royal Navy.
- It was commissioned into the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987. It had played a major role in Operation Jupiter in 1989 in the Sri Lankan peace keeping operation.
- It also had participated in the standoff Operation Parakram in 2001-20012 when India and Pakistan were engaged in a standoff post the Parliament terror attack.
- Its last operational deployment was for participation in International Fleet Review held at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh in February 2016.