INS Viraat (R22)

INS Viraat (R22) is a Centaur class aircraft carrier currently 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.

Name: INS Viraat
Builder: Vickers-Armstrong
Launched: 16 February 1953
Acquired: May 1987 (UK)
Decommissioned: 2020 (expected)
Refit: April 1986, July 1999, August 2008-November 2009
Homeport: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Motto: Jalmeva Jasya, Balmeva Tasya' (Sanskrit: "He who rules over the seas is all powerful")
Status: completed refit
2 x 40mm Bofors AA guns
16 x Barak SAM VL cells
Aircraft carried:
Up to 30 aircraft, including

The Viraat was completed and commissioned in 1959 as the Royal Navy's HMS Hermes, and transferred to India in 1987. In 2009 there were reports that after that year's refit was concluded, India might keep the aircraft carrier in service until 2020. By then, the warship would have completed 60 years of service, over twice its initially estimated sailing life of 25 years. At that time the two Indigenous Aircraft Carriers (IACs) seemed likely to be fully operational, which was the reason to keep Viraat operational until then, according to unnamed Navy officers.

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