Decommissioned aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, INS Viraat during its last journey from Naval Dockyard to Alang in Gujarat, where it will be dismantled, in Mumbai.(PTI)
Decommissioned aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, INS Viraat during its last journey from Naval Dockyard to Alang in Gujarat, where it will be dismantled, in Mumbai.(PTI)

In pictures: INS Viraat’s three decades of service

INS Viraat was inducted into the Indian Navy in the year 1987. It was commissioned on May 12, 1987 at Plymouth in the United Kingdom.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 19, 2020 11:12 PM IST

Navy veterans experienced an emotional moment when Indian Navy’s decommissioned aircraft carrier Viraat set sail for the last time on Saturday. Viraat will now reach Alang in Gujarat where it will be broken down and sold as scrap.

Indian Navys decommissioned warship aircraft carrier INS Viraat is towed away by boats while ships final journey to the Alang Ship breaking yard in Gujarat, from the naval dockyard in Mumbai. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Indian Navys decommissioned warship aircraft carrier INS Viraat is towed away by boats while ships final journey to the Alang Ship breaking yard in Gujarat, from the naval dockyard in Mumbai. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

INS Viraat was formerly known as HMS Hermes as the aircraft carrier had served in the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy for 27 years.

Watch: INS Viraat’s final journey, served Indian Navy for 29 years

INS Viraat was inducted into the Indian Navy in the year 1987. It was commissioned on May 12, 1987 at Plymouth in the United Kingdom.

Mumbai: INS Viraat on its way to Alang in Gujarat, where it will be dismantled and sold as scrap, in Mumbai, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The naval ship has served the Indian Navy for 30 years before being decommissioned three years ago. (PTI Photo)(PTI19-09-2020_000173B) (PTI)
Mumbai: INS Viraat on its way to Alang in Gujarat, where it will be dismantled and sold as scrap, in Mumbai, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The naval ship has served the Indian Navy for 30 years before being decommissioned three years ago. (PTI Photo)(PTI19-09-2020_000173B) (PTI)

Nicknamed the Grand Old Lady, Viraat was instrumental in several military operations like the Operation Jupiter, Operation Parakram and Operation Vijay. It also served the British Royal Navy in the Falklands War.

INS Viraat, oldest serving aircraft carrier was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on Monday, March 6, 2017 (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
INS Viraat, oldest serving aircraft carrier was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on Monday, March 6, 2017 (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
INS Viraat, oldest serving aircraft carrier decommissioned. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
INS Viraat, oldest serving aircraft carrier decommissioned. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

INS Viraat could carry 1,500 crew and officers. It served the Indian Navy for three decades. It was operational for 2,258 days, covering 590000 nautical miles, and 22622 hours of flying operations, according to PTI.

ASW Rocket firing display held during first visit of defence minister a k antony (not in picture) on board INS VIRAAT, near Karwar, Goa on January 2007. (PTI)
ASW Rocket firing display held during first visit of defence minister a k antony (not in picture) on board INS VIRAAT, near Karwar, Goa on January 2007. (PTI)
Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with INS Viraat and INS Mysore during a joint exercise in the North Arabian Sea on the first day of Indo-US Malabar-05, on September 2005. (PTI)
Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with INS Viraat and INS Mysore during a joint exercise in the North Arabian Sea on the first day of Indo-US Malabar-05, on September 2005. (PTI)

Along with the ability to carry 25 aircrafts it could also carry Sea Harrier fighters and Sea King 42 B/C, Chetak, Kamov 31 and ALH helicopters.

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