Indian Aircraft carrier Viraat

Viraat is a Centaur-class aircraft carrier currently in service with the Indian Navy. Viraat is the flagship of the Indian Navy. Viraat was originally commissioned in the British Royal Navy as HMS Hermes on 18 November 1959. During her career as Hermes, she served as the flagship of the Royal Navy task force in the Falkland Islands campaign. HMS Hermes would serve the Royal Navy another three years until she was stricken from active duty in 1985. 

After evaluating vessels from several countries, particularly the Garibaldi class of Italian ships, the Indian Navy purchased the vessel in April 1986 and gave it an extensive refit at Devonport Dockyard to allow for continued operability into the next decade. Further upgrades have allowed Viraat to be remain operational until at least 2012.

In a wartime scenario, the INS Viraat can embark up to 18 combat aircraft. INS Viraat is ideally suited for two missions: supporting amphibious operations and conducting ASW operations. Despite its age and range considerations, INS Viraat can quite effectively project naval and air power anywhere in the South Asia region. 


Country Name Origin Year
India 1953
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
India 1987 2008 View

Launched: 16 February 1953 (as HMS Hermes)

Commissioned: 18 November 1959 (as HMS Hermes)

Decommissioned: 1985 (as HMS Hermes)7

Displacement: 23,900 tons (standard); 28,700 tons (full)

Length: 226.5 m

Beam: 48.78 m

Draught: 8.8 m

Propulsion: 2 x Parsons geared steam turbines with 76,000 shp 

4 x boilers with 400 psi

Speed: 28 knots

Range: 6,500 miles @ 14 knots

Complement: 1,207 crew, 143 Aircrew

Radar: 1 x BEL/Signaal RAWL 02 air radar 

1 x RAWS 08 air/surface radar 

2 x BEL Rashmi navigation radars 

1 x EL/M-2221 STGR fire control radar 

1 x Plessey Type 904 radar 

1 x FT 13-S/M Tacan system

Sonar: 1 x Graseby Type 184M hull-mounted sonar

Passive defenses: 1 x BEL Ajanta ESM 

Decoy: 2 x Knebworth Corvus chaff launchers

Armament: 2 x 40mm Bofors AA guns 

16 x Barak SAM VL cells

Aircraft carried: 28 aircraft, including: 

Sea Harriers Mk.51 and Mk.52 

H-3 Sea King Mk.42 

HAL Chetak 

HAL Dhruv

End notes