While the iconic aircraft carrier INS Viraat sailed the last time before its dismantling, news of jubilation came from the Indian Navy as it appointed its first female airborne tacticians from warship decks. Let’s have a look at the recent events surrounding Indian Armed Forces.
Crux of the Matter
INS Viraat To Be Dismantled
INS (Indian Naval Ship) Viraat, an Aircraft Carrier ship, arrived on the Alang coast in Bhavnagar district (Gujarat) on 22 September 2020. It would be dismantled “during high tide at 1 PM on September 28” after being decommissioned in 2017 by the Indian Navy, and would be sold as scrap.
INS Viraat belonged to the ‘Centaur-Class aircraft carrier’ category, while having Sea Harriers jet fighters and ‘Anti Submarine aircraft Sea King Mk 42B, Sea King Mk 42 C and Chetak’ helicopters operate from it.
History Of INS Viraat
- The ship was integrated into the Royal Navy of the UK in 1959 by the name ‘HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) Hermes‘.
- It played a vital role in the 1982 Falklands war between the UK and Argentina.
- It was decommissioned by the UK in 1985, after which India purchased it in 1985-86.
- The ship was integrated into the Indian Navy in May 1987 as INS Viraat.
- It played an important role in Operation Jupiter (1989) during the Peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka.
- It was deployed in Operation Parakram (2001-02) after terrorist attacks on the Parliament of India.
Indian Armed Forces – Women Make History
Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh were recently selected as ‘Observers’ (Airborne Tacticians) in the “helicopter stream” of the Indian Navy, becoming the first women airborne tacticians in India to operate from warships’ decks. Earlier, women were restricted to ‘fixed-wing aircraft’ that both ascended from and landed on the shore.
Rear Admiral Antony George claimed that women trained for the first time in “helicopter operations” would eventually lead to women being deployed in “frontline warships of Indian Navy”.
Indian Air Force (IAF) would be inducting a female pilot (name withheld currently) in the ‘Rafale’ squadron, with the pilot currently operating MiG-21 Bison jets. IAF has been integrating women fighter pilots since 2016.
- The motto of INS Vikrant is, Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprdhah, which is taken from Rigveda and can be translated as “I defeat those who fight against me”. The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns.
- The motto of INS Viraat is, Jalameva Yasya, Balameva Tasya. It translates as, “He who rules over the seas is all powerful”.
- INS Viraat was originally commissioned by the British Royal Navy as HMS Hermes on 18 November 1959, 15 years after she was laid down in June 1944. In April 1986, Hermes was towed from Portsmouth Dockyard to Devonport Dockyard to be refitted, re-activated and sold to India.
- The Indian Express – Explained: The legacy of INS Viraat, now on its final journey
- Hindustan Times – In pictures: INS Viraat’s three decades of service
- The Times Of India – Woman pilot picked for Rafale, two others set to fly warship choppers
- Livemint – In a historic first, two women officers to operate Indian Navy warship