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Ships and Harbours Photos

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HMIS Vikrant, Andaman Islands, Indian Ocean 1964
Ships and Harbours
No: 972   Contributor: Ken Watson   Year: 1964   Manufacturer: Unknown   Countries: Andaman Islands, India
HMIS Vikrant, Andaman Islands, Indian Ocean 1964

Vikrant, anchored with other fleet units during Exercise Jet64 in the Andaman Islands, Indian Ocean.
Picture added on 09 February 2007
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INS Vikrant (R11) was formerly a Majestic-class light aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy.
Her keel was laid down on 12 November 1943 by Vickers-Armstrong on the Tyne and she was launched on 22 September 1945. Completion work was carried out in Belfast but construction was suspended after the end of World War II and she was laid up for possible future use. Her pennant was changed from R11 to R49.
In January 1957 she was sold to India, and construction was completed at Harland and Wolff, with an extensively modernized design, including an angled deck with steam catapults, a modified island, and many other improvements.
She formally joined the Indian fleet at Bombay on 3 November 1961. Her initial air wing consisted of British Hawker Sea Hawk fighter-bombers and a French Alize anti-submarine aircraft.
She and her Sea Hawks saw much action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
Vikrant was given an extensive refit, including new engines and modernization between 1979 and 3 January 1982. Between December 1982 and February 1983 she was refitted again to enable her to operate BAe Sea Harriers which replaced the Sea Hawks. After the Breguet Alizé (seen on the stern at the far left of this photograph) was retired from carrier service in 1989, she received a 'ski jump' for more efficient use of her Sea Harriers.
Vikrant was India's only carrier for over 20 years, but by the early 1990s she was effectively out of service because of her poor condition. She was formally decommissioned on 31 January 1997 and is preserved as a museum at Mumbai, being the only World War II-era British-built aircraft carrier to be preserved as a museum.

Added by Peter Langsdale on 12 August 2009.
The Indian Navy were about to withdraw from a S.E.A.T.O. exercise in 1963, because a Fairey Gannet had over flown Vikrants flight deck upside down, & dropped Pork Chops, the Gannet was from HMS Hermes, I was on the Exercise on RFA Tidereach.
many appologises from our UK Admiral to the Indian Navy. woz not Cricket!

Added by Raymond Fletcher on 16 August 2011.
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