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INS Viraat

Centaur-class aircraft carrier

INS Viraat

The Viraat aircraft carrier provides capability for a maximum of 30 Sea Harriers

 
 
Entered service 1987
Crew 1 350  men
Aircrew 143 men
Flag staff ?
Marines 750 men
Dimensions and displacement
Length 208.8 m
Beam 27.4 m
Draught 8.7 m
Displacement, full load 28 700 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 28 knots
Boilers 4 x 76 000 hp
Aircraft
VTOL 12 - 18 x Sea Harrier
Helicopters 7 x Sea King Mk 42 or Kamov Ka-28 'Helix-A'
Armament
Missiles 2 x octuple VLS launchers for Barak missiles
Guns 4 x Oerlikon 20-mm guns, 2 x 40-mm Boffors guns, 4 x AK-230 30-mm guns

 

   HMS Hermes was commissioned into the Royal Navy in November 1959, having been built at Barrow-in-Furness between 1944-53. It played a crucial role in the liberation of the Falklands. It was Britain's flagship in the Falklands War. Four years after the war, Hermes was sold to India. Refitted, the ship was commissioned into the Indian Navy as the Viraat in May 1987. Refitted again from July 1999 to December 2000, Viraat returned to the fleet in June 2001.

   Modifications since its Falklands days include the substitution of Russian AK-230 six-barrel 30-mm guns for the old Sea Cat SAM system (these may in turn be replaced by Kashtan CIWS); new fire control, search and navigation radars; new deck-landing aids; improved NBC protection; conversion of boilers to use distillate fuel; and after 2001, the IAI/Rafael Barak SAM. Like Hermes, Viraat is fitted to carry up to 750 troops and four LCVPs are carried for amphibious landings, and in addition up to 80 lightweight torpedoes can be carried in the magazine. However, Viraat may be retired early now that India has finally completed a deal with Russia to buy the Kiev class carrier Admiral Gorshkov and with it, a number of MiG-29K fighters - a $700 million refit and through-deck conversation for the Gorshkov was completed in 2008. In 2014 it was commissioned to service with the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya.

   The Sea Harriers carried by the Viraat are scheduled for modernization too but this may be shelved with the advent of the MiG-29Ks.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
INS Viraat (R22) 1944 1953 1959 / 1987

active, in service

 

 

Video of the INS Viraat aircraft carrier

 

 
INS Viraat

INS Viraat

INS Viraat

INS Viraat

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