World’s Oldest Aircraft Carrier Ready to Retire

Posted by Conor Ward

“The Indian Navy’s INS Viraat, the world’s oldest aircraft carrier, was towed out of Kochi on Friday, headed for a decommissioning ceremony in Mumbai.

Viraat is expected to be decommissioned by end of the year after 55 years of service, including 27 years with the Royal Navy.

The Navy has agreed to hand over Viraat to the Andhra Pradesh government after its decommissioning. The government plans to use the vessel as a tourist attraction.

Viraat (meaning Giant) is a Centaur-class aircraft carrier. It was the flagship of the Indian Navy before INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in 2013.

Viraat was the last British-built ship serving with the Indian Navy.

She was completed and commissioned in 1959 as the Royal Navy’s HMS Hermes and decommissioned in 1984. It was sold to India in 1987. Viraat was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1987 and served for 27 years.”


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