Timeline of INS Virat – The great old Lady


There are some machines in the armed forces which are not considered as machines only, some become family members like they are alive, some has the legacy of serving the nation and the men in uniform respect them by their hearts.We can see the same request coming out by the heart of every personnel of the Indian Armed Forces and every patriot of the nation who is aware of what INS Virat have done for the nation, if you didn’t aware of it just read this article till the end.


INS Virat who was HMS Hermes before being commissioned to Indian Navy was one of the important aircraft carriers of Royal Navy’s strike group. HMS Hermes served as the flagship of the Royal Navy’s task force during the Falkland Islands campaign in 1982 and was decommissioned from active duty in 1985. In April 1986, Hermes was towed from Portsmouth Dockyard to Devonport Dockyard to be refitted, re-activated and sold to India.

    INS Vikrant and INS Virat

Before the purchase of INS Virat, Indian Navy evaluated many carriers from the different countries including Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi-class carriers.

The Italian aircraft carrier ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi (C 551) 
  • Indian Navy has chosen HMS Hermes as their second aircraft carrier after INS Vikrant, Indian Navy changed the fate of HMS Hermes by refitting new fire control equipment, navigation radars, improved NBC protection, and deck landing aids were installed in this refit. Boilers were converted to operate on distillate fuel.

INS Virat Participated in India’s peacekeeping operation in Sri-Lanka in 1987 giving an edge to Indian Armed Forces over operational readiness.

In 2001 INS Virat gone under another major refit in which it will get all new pieces of equipment like surveillance radars, communication equipments, new hangars, fire curtains and a new and quite fast lift ramp to support rapid deployments during any attack session. The refit extended the life of the legend by 10 years.

The world understands the power of Anti-Ship missiles, that’s why INS Virat towed another time for the refit and after that INS Virat has their Barak SAM’s which are quite advance.

INS Virat underwent major refits and servicing campaign to keep the Indian carrier fleet running, but now when Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) was approved for production Indian Navy planned to decommission “The great old lady”

INS Virat after 30 years of glorious service in Indian Navy and representative of Indian dominance in the Indian ocean, served with extreme honour. You will never be considered just as a ship, she was a soldier who served her nation with full of her potential. Indian Armed Forces will never forget your service.

The past and the future of Indian Navy

Thanks alot for your service “The great old lady”


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