INS Viraat completes 25 years in Indian Navy tomorrow
New Delhi, May 11 (ANI): The Indian Navy's largest warship, INS Viraat, completes its 25 years on Saturday.
On the occasion of Hermes-Viraat completing 50 years in service in 2009, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Nirmal Verma, who commanded Viraat from November 8, 1996 to December 13, 1997 said : "The fact that a warship designed in 1940s and built in the 1950s could evolve and adjust to the technological and strategic imperatives of the post-war years, the Cold War and continues to have utility in the 21st century is testimony to the men and women who built her and also those who have contributed to transforming her over the years."
"The ship has over the years truly stood up to its slogan 'Any Mission, Any Time Anywhere'," he added.
On May 12, 1987 HMS Hermes became INS Viraat under the command of Capt (later Vice Admiral) Vinod Pasricha. Commissioned in November 1959 as HMS Hermes, it became INS Viraat after completing 28 years under the union jack. It had earned glory in the Falklands campaign of the Royal Navy.
INS Viraat's last major modernisation and life enhancement refit was undertaken in 2008-09 enabling a life extension of a few more years that is till the arrival of Vikramaditya.
INS Viraat was the flagship of the Western Fleet during Op Parakram. With its full strength of Sea Harriers embarked, Viraat was central to the Western Fleet deployment for over six months. She was at sea with Capt (now VAdm) DK Joshi as the Commanding Officer and RAdm (later VAdm) JS Bedi as the Fleet Commander.
Currently, INS Viraat is commanded by Capt Ajendra Bahadur Singh, the 19th Commanding Officer of the ship.
The ship has seen 18 Commanding Officers of which three went onto become Chiefs of Naval Staff viz Admiral Madhvendra Singh, Admiral Arun Prakash and Admiral Nirmal Verma.
The ship has done over 40,000 hours of steaming and traversed over 5,00,000 nautical miles across the proverbial seven seas. The ship has undertaken over 20,000 hrs of flying from its deck. (ANI)
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