World Aircraft Carriers List: India
Revised 26 November 2001
Compiled and Maintained by: Andrew Toppan
World Aircraft Carrier Lists Main Page: http://www.hazegray.org/navhist/carriers/
Vikrant (R11) light fleet aircraft carrier
Note: India continues attempts to build or acquire additional
aircraft carriers. There are ongoing discussions about the possible
transfer of the Russian Gorshkov, however, it now seems unlikely
that this ship will be acquired. India has also announced plans to build
a new "Air Defense Ship" (i.e. small carrier) of 32,000 tons displacement
and 250 meters length. The ship would operate navalized MiG-29 fighters
and a navalized version of the Indian Light Combat Aircraft.
Construction is planned to start by 2000, with planned completion in the
2007-2010 timeframe. It is difficult to say whether this ship will
actually be built; there have been several previous announcements about
Indian carrier construction, none of which have produced an actual ship.
Viraat (R22) VSTOL aircraft carrier
(HMS Majestic class) light fleet aircraft carrier
Displacement: 19,500 tons full load
Dimensions: 630 x 80 x 24 feet/192 x 24.4 x 7.3 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 700 x 128 x 24 feet/213.3 x 39 x 7.3 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 4 boilers, 2 shafts, 40,000 hp, 23 knots
Armament: 15 40 mm AA
Concept/Program: An ex-RN light fleet carrier, suspended incomplete
at the end of WWII, sold to India and completed to a modernized
design. Was India's only carrier for over 20 years.
Design: Completed to an extensively modernized design, with an
angled deck, modified island, and many other improvements over the
Modifications: Modernized, refitted and re-engined 1979 to 3 Jan
1982. Refitted for Sea Harriers 12/82 to 2/83; ski jump added 1988-89.
Proposed conversion to an assault ship not carried out.
Operational: Saw combat against Pakistan.
Departure from Service/Disposal: Suffered from extreme
reliability/maintenance problems; even following major overhauls she
rarely went to sea. The ship was effectively out of service by the
early 1990's due to her poor condition, but was not formally
decommissioned until 1997.
[Vikrant as completed].
Built by Vickers-Armstrong, Tyne. Laid down 12 Nov 1943, launched 22 Sept
1945. Suspended after WWII and laid up for possible future use.
Designation changed to R49 under NATO designation system. Sold to
India 1/1957 and completed at Harland & Wolff to the modernized design.
Commissioned in Indian service as INS
Vikrant (R11) 4 March 1961.
Effectively out of service by the early 1990's due to poor condition.
Formally decommissioned 31 January 1997. To be preserved as a museum at
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(HMS Centaur class) VSTOL aircraft carrier
Displacement: 28,700 tons full load
Dimensions: 650 x 90 x 29 feet/198 x 27.4 x 8.8 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 744 x 160 x 29 feet/226.7 x 48.8 x 8.8 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 4 boilers, 2 shafts, 76,000 shp, 28 knots
Crew: 1830 + 270 air group
Armament: 2 Sea Cat SAM, 5 dual 40 mm
Aircraft: 21 VSTOL
Concept/Program: An ex-RN light fleet carrier, initially completed
to an extensively modernized design and later converted to a VSTOL
carrier, purchased upon retirement from RN service. This ship was
probably meant to replace the ailing Vikrant, although that ship
remained nominally in service for another decade. Now India's only
Design: Fitted with an angled deck, but the takeoff path is
oriented axially; there is a skijump at the bow.
Operational: The ship is in reasonably good condition, but will require replacement
ex-HMS Hermes, ex-Elephant
[Hermes as completed],
[After 1960's refit],
[As an ASW carrier],
[As a VSTOL carrier],
[Viraat as commissioned].
Built by Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow. Laid down 21 June 1944, renamed
11/1945, construction suspended following WWII. Construction resumed
mid-1950's, launched 16 February 1953, commissioned 25 Nov 1959.
Initially operated as a light fleet carrier. Refitted 24 Feb 1964-5/1966. Decommissioned
to reserve 14 July 1970; converted to
a commando carrier at Devenport Dockyard 1 March 1971 to 18 Aug 1973.
Converted to ASW carrier 10 May 1976 to
10 Dec 1976, then replaced in ASW role by Bulwark and converted to
VSTOL (Harrier) carrier in 1980. Had been
scheduled for decommissioning, but retained for Falklands service.
Decommissioned to reserve 12 April 1984, stricken for disposal 1 July
Sold to India 19 April 1986, refitted prior to transfer, commissioned 12
May 1987 as INS Viraat (R22),
formally recommissioned in India 15 Feb 1989. Major refit at Cochin
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The World Aircraft Carrier Lists
Compiled and Maintained by Andrew Toppan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright © 1995-2003 by Andrew Toppan
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