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INS Viraat (R22) is a Centaur class aircraft carrier currently in service with the Indian Navy. INS Viraat (meaning "giant") is the flagship of the Indian Navy, the oldest carrier in service and one of two aircraft carriers based in the Indian Ocean Region.


INS Viraat on its 50th anniversary in 2009. Indian Navy Photo The oldest active aircraft carrier in the world will be converted into a docked museum when the ship, now in the Indian Navy, decommissions next year. INS Viraat (R-22) was commissioned in 1959 into the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes (R-12), the last of the Centaur-class conventional aircraft carriers. It was transferred to India in 1987 after undergoing refits and equipment upgrades, according to The Tribune in India.