INS Viraat retires, ten things you must know about world's oldest aircraft carrier

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INS Viraat
INS Viraat

New Delhi : INS Viraat, world's oldest aircraft carrier, has retired from the Indian Navy after approximately 30 years of service. The decommissioning ceremony has been attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and other dignitaries.

Here are 10 things every Indian should know about the INS Viraat:

1. In its initial period of time, for over 27 years, INS Viraat was known as HMS Hermes during its serving to British Royal Navy. 

2. Indian Navy purchased it for a whopping price if $65 million in late 80s, recommissioning it on May 12, 1987. 

3. After the decommissioning of INS Viraat, the Indian Navy will be short of two aircraft carriers as INS Vikrant has already been decommissioned.

4. INS Viraat is also referred as the ‘Grand Old Lady’ in the naval community.

5. Age of Viraat – Over 2000 days in sea with a sailing distance of over 5.5 lakh nautical miles.

6. The final time INS Viraat sailed was from Mumbai to Kochi in July 2016.

7. It has been learned that post retirement, the ship is likely to be turned into a museum, hotel or will be preserved as a relic of maritime history.

8. There are likely possibilities of Bajaj Motors increasing its one of its motorcycles manufacturing unit with it.

9. The ship operated Sea Harrier (White Tigers - fighter aircrafts), Seaking 42B (Harpoons Anti-Submarine helicopters), Seaking 42C (Commando Carrier helicopters) and Chetak (Angles-SAR helicopter) as her main air elements. 

10. INS Viraat was involved in her first major operation - 'Operation Jupiter' - in July 1989 as a part of Indian Peace Keeping Operations in Sri Lanka. She also played a pivotal role in 'Operation Parakram' undertaken after the terrorist attack on Parliament in December 2001.