Friday, 11 May 2012

INS Viraat completes 25 years in the Indian Navy on Saturday, 12th May 2012




25 YEARS OF INS VIRAAT- 12 MAY 1987 TO 12 MAY 2012


On 12 May 1987 HMS Hermes became INS Viraat under the command of Capt (later Vice Admiral) Vinod Pasricha. Commissioned in Nov 1959 as HMS Hermes, the ship completed 28 years in the Royal Navy and saw combat in the Falklands Campaign.

The commissioning signal from the Naval Headquarters said:

“Your commissioning today marks an important milestone in the development of our Navy’s blue water capability. May your operational prowess match your gigantic name and good fortune attend on you wherever you may sail. I wish all officers and men a happy, challenging and rewarding commission”

The message from the crew of the Hermes read:

“Bringing forward HMS Hermes for hand over to the Indian Navy and commissioning as INS Viraat… It is with a mixture of sadness, pride and confidence that we today handover this magnificent ship to the Indian Navy; sadness in that we with our happy memories witness her passing from the Royal Navy, pride in the capabilities noting that she will be in good hands and confident that she will prove equal and worthy of all the aspirations the Indian Navy have for her as Viraat. The Captain, officers and ships company of HMS Hermes congratulate the Captain, officers and ships company on the majesty of INS Viraat and may good fortune attend all who sail in her quest to control the sea and be all powerful.

INS Viraat has been maintained and run by the Indian Navy for a quarter century after that, making Hermes-Viraat one of the longest serving aircraft carrier in the history of naval operations anywhere in the world. This says something about the Indian Navy’s capability in maintaining and operating warships.

In 2009, when the Hermes-Viraat completed 50 years in service, the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Nirmal Verma, who commanded Viraat from 08 Nov 1996 to 13 Dec 1997 said:

“The fact that a warship designed in 1940s and built in the 1950s could evolve and adjust to the technological and strategic imperatives of the post war years, the Cold War and continues to have utility in the 21st century is testimony to the men and women who built her and also those who have contributed to transforming her over the years.

The ship's motto is “Any Mission, Any Time, Anywhere”

Some other interesting facts of INS Viraat

When commissioned in 1987, her envisaged life was 10 years....

INS VIraat’s last major modernisation and life enhancement refit was undertaken in 2008-09 enabling a life extension of a few more years ie till the arrival of Vikramaditya ie definitely till 2013...

INS Viraat was the flag ship of the western fleet during Op Parakram. With its full strength of Sea Harriers embarked, Viraat was central to the Western Fleet deployment for over six months. She was at sea with Capt (now VAdm) DK Joshi as the Commanding Officer and RAdm (later VAdm) JS Bedi as the Fleet Commander. 

She is currently commanded by Capt Ajendra Bahadur Singh, the 19th CO of the ship.

Ship has seen 18 Commanding Officers, three of which three went onto become Chiefs of Naval Staff --- Adm Madhvendra Singh, Adm Arun Prakash and Adm Nirmal Verma.

Ship has done over 40,000 hours of steaming and traversed over 5,00,000 nautical miles across the proverbial seven seas. The ship has undertaken over 20,000 hrs of flying from its deck.  

INS VIRAAT - LIST OF COMMANDING OFFICERS
S NO.
NAME
FROM
TO
1
CAPTAIN  VINOD PASRICHA NM
12 May 1987
15 Dec 1988
2.
CAPTAIN MADHAVENDRA SINGH
15 Dec 1988
30 Aug 1990
3.
CAPTAIN ARUN PRAKASH VRC NM
30 Aug 1990
26 Dec 1991
4.
CAPTAIN MADANJIT SINGH
26 Dec 1991
21 Mar 1993
5.
CAPTAIN YASHWANT PRASAD
21 Mar 1993
28 Sep 1994
5.
CAPTAIN JAGJEET SINGH BEDI VSM
28 Sep 1994
13 Oct 1995
6.
CAPTAIN VIJAY SHANKAR
20 Oct 1995
08 Nov 1996
7.
CAPTAIN NIRMAL KUMAR VERMA
08 Nov 1996
13 Dec 1997
8.
CAPTAIN SK DAMLE NM VSM
13 Dec 1997
15 JUN 2000
9.
CAPTAIN RF CONTRACTOR
16 Jun 2000
18 Dec 2001
10.
CAPTAIN DK JOSHI NM VSM
18 Dec 2001
07 Jan 2003
11.
CAPTAIN ANIL K CHOPRA
07 Jan 2003
06 Jan 2004
12.
CAPTAIN PRADEEP CHAUHAN
06 Jan 2004
31 May 2005
13.
CAPTAIN SPS CHEEMA NM
31 May 2005
15 May 2006
14.
CAPTAIN GIRISH LUTHRA
15 May 2006
11 Aug 2007
15.
CAPTAIN AR KARVE
11 Aug 2007
27 Dec 2008
16.
CAPTAIN ANIL KUMAR CHAWLA
27 Dec 2008
06 Aug 2010
17.
CAPTAIN HARI KUMAR
06 Aug 2010
15 Nov 2011
18.
CAPTAIN AJENDRA BAHADUR SINGH
15 Nov 2011
Onwards till date


All major refits of Viraat have been undertaken by the Cochin Shipyard Limited. The extension of the ship’s life far beyond initial expectations is stands as a testimony to the high levels of workmanship and dedication of the yard staff at Cochin Shipyard.


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice article & photos Ajai Sir.

Thank you.
- Tanuj, Noida

lspk said...

Sir,
Pls read this article.



http://www.army-technology.com/features/featurefuture-infantry-unravelling-the-indian-armys-f-insas-programme/

Mr. Ra said...

Virat.. the nation is proud of you.

rustom said...

I am from the Saturation diving Industry and know of people who work with me that have served on the HMS Hermes and also were in the falklands wars. They have tried before and are trying to sort of renuite on her decks as a nostalgic moment for her 53rd birthday or whenever the Govt Gods grant permisiion. How do they or I in India go about it so that the veterans of the Hermes/Viraat can sort of set foot on her. Obviously the guys are ex British sailors. Any information would be helpful. My email add is rustomjam@yahoo.com.

Anonymous said...

I know this may be the wrong place to post. However, here goes...

Ms. Vandana Agarwal transferred out of the Cabinet Secretariat after serving for a very short period (Feb '12 to Apr '12). For leaking Gen. V K Singh's letter?

http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/om-02052012-d.pdf

joydeep ghosh said...

@Ajai sir

with just 5 Harriers left and all of them to be decommissioned by early 2013 do you expect INS Viraat to operate as a LPD or a Helicopter carrier for the remainder of her service life which is well and truly another 10 years.

Expect a answer

thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

CMDE H C SETHI( Retd) said...

YES ,WE ARE ALL VERY PROUD OF THE VIRAT THE COMMISONING CREW AND THE REFIT THAT THEY GAVE HER IN ROYAL NAVY DOCKYARD , MAKING IT A SHIP WHICH ATLEST SOME IN THE ROYAL NAVY THOUGHT WAS WORTH RETAINING RATHER THAN TRANFERING TO INDIAN NAVY.
HAVING BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE AQUISITIONING OF VIRAT ,I AM REMINDED OF THE DRAMA WHICH WAS PLAYED A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE HANDING OVER AND THE RELEASE OF THE ASSOCIATED LAST STAGE PAYMENT .ULTIMATELY THE THEN VICE CHEIF HAD TO GO THE UK A DAY BEFORE THE HANDING OVER AND ENSURE THAT WE GET THIS MIGHTY SHIP .

joydeep ghosh said...

@Cmde H C Sethi

thanks for sharing the inputs, I would like to say that you should give your inputs to any matter that you feel is worth your opinion

regards

Joydeep Ghosh