What is the INS Vikrant?

INS Vikrant (name drawn from ‘vikranta,’ which means ‘brave’ or ‘courageous’ in Sanskrit) was an aircraft carrier of the Indian navy. The ship was initially to be built as HMS Hercules for the British Royal Navy during World War II but the ship’s construction was put on hold when the war ended. India purchased the incomplete carrier in 1957, and finished building it in 1961. INS Vikrant was commissioned as the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, and Captain Pritam Singh was the ship’s first commanding officer. On May 18, 1961, the first jet, piloted by Lieutenant Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani, landed on her deck. INS Vikrant formally joined the Indian Navy’s fleet in Mumbai (then Bombay) on November 3, 1961.

INS Vikrant played a key role in strengthening the Indian Navy’s presence during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The ship underwent major refits to accommodate modern aircraft, and was later decommissioned in January 1997. It was preserved as a museum ship in Mumbai until 2012. In January 2014, the ship was sold through an online auction and scrapped in November 2014.

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