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INS Viraat Heading to Alang Beach Yard for Breaking

Steel News - Published on Fri, 18 Sep 2020

Image Source: INS Viraat Shipbreaking
Times of India reported that Indian Navy’s decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat will begin its last journey on Friday from Mumbai to reach Alang in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar where it will be dismantled. Alang based Shree Ram Group had won the bid for breaking down the historic ship for INR 38.54 crore. The ship is currently anchored at the naval dockyard in Mumbai from where a tug boat will tow the ship to Alang. The Indian Navy ship, decommissioned after 30 years of service in 2017, is expected to reach Alang around Sunday midnight. This is the only warship to have served both the UK and India Navy.

INS Viraat was originally a British ship and was commissioned in the Royal Navy in 1959. HMS Hermes was a conventional British aircraft carrier and the last of the Centaur class. The ship was laid down by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness during World War II as HMS Elephant. Construction was suspended in 1945 but work was resumed in 1952 to clear the slipway and the hull was launched on 16 February 1953. The vessel remained unfinished until 1957, when she entered service on 18 November 1959 as HMS Hermes after extensive modifications which included installation of a massive Type 984 'searchlight' 3D radar, a fully angled deck with a deck-edge elevator, and steam catapults. With these changes she more resembled the reconstructed aircraft carrier Victorious than the other three ships in the class. Hermes initially operated Supermarine Scimitar, de Havilland Sea Vixen, and Fairey Gannet fixed-wing aircraft, together with Westland Whirlwind helicopters. The construction cost of Hermes was GBP 18 million with a further GBP 1 million for electronic equipment and a further GBP 10 million for aircraft in 1959. Hermes was in service with the Royal Navy from 1959 until 1984, and she served as the flagship of the British forces during the 1982 Falklands War.

After being sold to India in 1986, the vessel was recommissioned and remained in service with the Indian Navy as INS Viraat until 2017. INS Viraat was the flagship of the Indian Navy before INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in 2013. On 23 July 2016, Viraat sailed for the last time under her own power from Mumbai to Kochi, where she was dry-docked and prepared for decommissioning. She was towed out of Kochi on 23 October, returning to Mumbai on 28 October, where she was laid up. Viraat was formally decommissioned on 6 March 2017. After the failure of plans to convert her into a hotel and museum, she was sold for scrap and scheduled to be broken up beginning in September 2020.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Fri, 18 Sep 2020
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