INS Viraat’s 56-year-long sea odyssey ends
The world’s oldest serving aircraft carrier, INS Viraat was decommissioned on Monday, ending a 56-year-long sea odyssey that saw the British-build ship serve two countries and sail a distance that would have taken it around the globe 27 times. The decommissioning ceremony at the Mumbai dockyard will be attended by India’s chief of naval staff S Lamba and the British Royal Navy’s 1st Sea Lord, admiral Sir Phillip Jones. Referred to as the ‘Grand Old Lady’ in the naval community, Viraat was completed and commissioned in 1959 in the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom as HMS Hermes. It was decommissioned in 1984 and subsequently commissioned in the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987.