A passenger ferry goes past “Indian Museum Ship—Vikrant” (seen in the background) off the coast of Mumbai.
1.Indian Museum Ship—Vikrant (ex INS Vikrant):
- The first aircraft carrier of Indian Navy was decommissioned on January 31, 1997. The ship which played a key role during 1971 Indo-Pak war has now been converted into a maritime museum and anchored off the Gateway of India in Mumbai. The ship was built in 1945 by the British as HMS Hercules and bought by India in 1957 and was commissioned as INS Vikrant.
- The majestic ship has steamed a total of 4,99,066 nautical miles, about 15 times around the world. Finally, with the cooperation of the Maharashtra State Government, the 213-metre-long Vikrant has been towed close to the oyster rock, off the Colaba causeway, Mumbai, and converted into a permanent naval museum. The main public attraction of Vikrant is the flat, expansive length and breadth of the flight deck, deck-landing mirrors costing crores each, a giant hanger lift which can lift hundreds of persons at one time and the ski jump arrangement fitted in lieu of landing and arresting gear on the flight deck.
- The preliminary focus of the museum was to highlight the role of the ship as the cradle of naval aviation in the country. Subsequently, it was decided to expand this to include all facets of naval activities so that the general public could get to see and understand the Navy in all its hues. Specialised naval areas like diving, naval operations, armament, missiles, naval uniforms and seamanship aspects were therefore included in the gamut of artifacts, exhibits and displays. The museum is now a microcosm of the entire Navy.
- The museum will be further expanded to cover naval operations in greater depth, depicting the glory of naval victory in 1971 and the role of Vikrant in achieving this victory. Also, other compartments of the ship that can be converted will be made operational/functional as and when more funds become available.
- Daily trips to see the ship are arranged from the Gateway of India by motor launches and the prices are Rs100 for the launch ride as well as the visit. But if you want to take pictures then there is an extra charge of Rs35 for still cameras and Rs100 for video cameras. The latest addition is a new gallery depicting the role of the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant during the 1971 war. Museum is not open to public during the monsoon season due to the choppy seas.
- Visiting hours are from 11 am to 6 pm, on all weekdays (Mondays shut).
2.Specifications of INS Vikrant now converted as Indian Museum Ship Vikrant:
- Displacement:15,700 tons standard, 19,500 tons full load
- Length:192 meters (630 feet) waterline, 213.3 meters (700 feet) extreme
- Beam:24.4 meters (80 feet) waterline, 39 meters (128 feet) extreme
- Draft:7.3 meters (24 feet)
- Propulsion:Parsons geared steam turbines, 4 Admiralty three-drum boilers, 2 shafts, 40,000 hp, 23 knots
- Range:12,000 miles at 14 knots
- Crew:1075 usual, 1340 wartime
- Armament:16x40mm Bofors antiaircraft guns, later reduced to eight
- 6 Westland Sea King Mk42B
- 3 Westland Sea King Mk42C
- Fixed Wing 6 BAe Sea Harriers FRS.51
3.Some of the pictures of the ship:
OldSailor was one of the lucky sailor to do afloat training of six months in this ship in 1975.
Update: September 01, 2008
Maharashtra Government, India has accorded approval to convert INS Vikrant into a modern museum on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. Read more from WebIndia123.
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