R12 HMS Hermes

UK Royal Navy

1987 to 2017 - IN Indian Navy - R22 INS Viraat    

1959 to 1984    

R12 HMS Hermes


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Flight Deck: H
Call Sign: GKZL


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History of UK R12 HMS Hermes

1944-jun-21Laid downas HMS Elephant, Yard No. 928
1959-nov-25Commissionedas HMS Hermes and based at HMNB Portsmouth
1959-nov-26Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for Gibraltar for work up and returned to home waters to continue.
1960-jul-5Aircraftuntil Aug 1961 Whirlwind HAS.7 of 814 NAS embarked
1960-octAircraftExercise Rum Tub III temporary assignment of 824 NAS Whirlwinds until 17 Oct
1960-oct-7AircraftAccident 814 NAS Whirlwind HAS.7 XN313/282-H w/o Lough Foyle while HMS Hermes was operating in the Irish Sea. (Replaced on unit strength by XN386 as /282-H later in the same month).
1960-nov-7Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for exercises in Mediterranean with HMS Ark Royal and HMS Victorious, sailed on 3 Dec for Far East station to relieve HMS Albion, returned to UK on 19 Apr 1961
1960-nov-30DeploymentExercise Royal Flush IV joint US-UK exercise in Western Mediterranean, including HMS Ark Royal, HMS Victorious, USS Independence, USS Intrepid and USS Saratoga.
1960-dec-3Deploymentexercising in Mediterranean with HMS Ark Royal and HMS Victorious
1961-feb-3AircraftAccident 814 Sq Whirlwind HAS.7 XN312/281-H ditched and sank during recovery approach, S of Hong Kong on 3 Feb 1961
1961-marDeploymentrelieved of Far East duty by HMS Victorious, towards end of the month
1961-jun-29DeploymentGIGibraltar Harbour Standby Ordered to Gibraltar as a precautionary re-inforcement to units engaged in Operation Vantage off Kuwait, until mid Jul.
1961-aug-5Port VisitHMNB Portsmouth Navy Days 1961 present at Portsmouth Navy Days 1961, with the last public display for her embarked 814 NAS Whirlwinds, before re-equipping with Wessex.
1961-sep-11RefitMajor refit in Portsmouth which included arrangements for operating the Wessex, until 20 Apr 1962
1962-mayAircraftuntil Aug 1963 Wessex HAS.1 of 814 NAS embarked
1962-may-25Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for 5 month Mediterranean work-up deployment, returning 5 Oct.
1962-augDeploymentExercise Rip Tide II operating off Portugal with HMS Centaur, USS Enterprise and USS Forrestal during, Exercise RipTide II.
1962-nov-13Deployment Konfrontasi departed HMNB Portsmouth for 10 month Indian Ocean and Far East deployment via the Mediterranean, based from Singapore. Wessex HAS.1 of 814 NAS embarked. Relieved by HMS Ark Royal in Jul 1963 and sailed for the UK. Ordered to remain off Aden, she was replaced there by HMS Victorious in Red Sea, continuing on 21 Jul and returned Aug 1963.
1962-nov-13AircraftHMD Portsmouth Departure prior to deployment for Far East later that day while still in the English Channel, the Fairey Swordfish which had been hoisted aboard for the Taranto Day celebrations on 11 Nov, flew off. Last departure of a Swordfish from a carrier.
1962-nov-16AircraftAccident SAR Flt Whirlwind XN360/986-H ditched and sank in the Irish Sea, en route Brawdy.
1962-dec-8AircraftYEoff Aden Accident Whirlwind XK935 SAR Flt/985 since Oct 1962, ditched and sank, 23nm SW of Aden.
1963-jan-15AircraftRPSubic Bay Harbour Accident lost 814Sq Wessex HAS.1 XM924/344-H when ditched and sank 15 Jan 1963, while operating off Philippines.
1963-julAircraftDisembarked 814 NAS and replaced them in her air group by 819 NAS Wessex from Hal Far, until Feb 1964.
1963-aug-12AircraftAccident Lost 814Sq Wessex XM922/344-H when ditched and sank, 12 Aug 1963 while operating off Aden
1963-oct-4AircraftCentral Mediterranean Accident lost 819 Sq Wessex HAS.1 XP145/323-H, when ditched and sank while operating S of Crete.
1964-febRefitrefit at HMD Devonport for c 2 years, emerging Spring 1966, able to host ASW Helicopters
1964-aug-1HMD Devonport Navy Days 1964 present at Plymouth Navy Days 1964, in refit
1965-augHMD Devonport Navy Days 1965 present at Plymouth Navy Days 1965, in refit
1966-marAircraftassigned Whirlwind HAR.9 XN258 to SAR Flt/336-H until c Nov 1966.
1966-sepAircraftuntil Feb 1968 Wessex HAS.1 of 826 NAS embarked and 2 SAR Flt Whirlwinds
1966-sep-21Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for North Sea work-up, returning 18 Nov
1967-jan-16Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for 9 month Indian Ocean and Far East deployment. Relieved HMS Victorious off Aden in Apr. Ordered back to Aden from Gan on 3 Jun as the Middle East six day war broke out. Reached Far East base at Singapore on 22 Jun. Departed Singapore on 4 Sep for the UK via Cape Town and arrived in Portsmouth on 2 Oct.
1967-jan-23AircraftWest Mediterranean Accident en route Malta from Gibraltar, 892Sq Sea Vixen ditched immediately following launch by catapult. 826 NAS Planeguard Wessex HAS.1 XS883/346-H on scene, was struck by the ship and lost.
1967-aprDeploymentEastern Mediterranean, after Greek military coup in Athens
1967-junDeploymentassigned to Eastern Task Force off Aden, guarding interests during Middle East Six Day War.
1967-jun-22Port Visitmid-deployment maintenance in Singapore, until 17 Jul.
1967-augDeploymentfollowing Cultural Revolution in China, reinforced Hong Kong after rioting continued.
1967-aug-9AircraftRPSubic Bay Harbour Accident 826Sq Wessex HAS.1 XS879/342-H ditched and sank while HMS Hermes operating off Subic Bay, Philippines
1967-aug-28Port VisitAUFremantle Harbour Fremantle 7 day visit to Fremantle, departing 4 Sep for UK via Cape of Good Hope.
1967-oct-31Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for Middle East deployment, via Cape of Good Hope. After operating with HMS Bulwark and HMS Devonshire, she returned to Portsmouth on 19 Feb 1968.
1968-marRefitshort refit at HMD Portsmouth. Recommissioning on 17 May with many of the Ships Company from HMS Victorious.
1968-may-31Aircraftuntil Jun 1970 Wessex HAS.3 of 814 NAS embarked
1968-julDeploymentdeparted UK for 9 month Indian Ocean and Far East deployment. Arrived Singapore on 31 Aug and returned to Portsmouth on 1 Apr 1969.
1968-sep-30DeploymentExercise Exercise Coral Sands participated in Exercise Coral Sands (after joining with Amphibious Task Force in the Celebes Sea, earlier), until 13 Oct
1968-oct-14Port VisitAUHMAS Kuttabul Sydney extended visit to Sydney, departed 31 Oct and re-embarked her Air Group from RANAS Nowra, in Jervis Bay.
1969-octDeploymentdeparted UK for Mediterranean deployment; returned to HMNB Portsmouth on 22 Jun 1970
1970-octtowed from HMNB Portsmouth to HMNB Devonport, to await refit.
1971-mar-1RefitHMD Devonport Commando refit air search radar Type 965 until 17 Aug 1973 at HMD Devonport to convert to Commando Carrier. Include removal of her Type 984 3D radar.
1973-augAircraftuntil Oct 1979 Sea King of 814 NAS embarked
1973-augAircraftuntil 1977 Wessex HU.5 from various detachments of 845 NAS embarked
1973-sep-22Aircraft824 NAS Sea Kings assigned to HMS Hermes until Apr 1974
1974In Gibraltar
1974-febDeploymentdeparted UK for Western Atlantic deployment to Caribbean and Canada with Wessex HU.5 of 845 NAS embarked.
1974-julDeploymentCYAkrotiri Bay Akrotiri Partition of Cyprus Disembarked 41 Commando RM (from Malta) on Cyprus during the emergency, while Sea Kings from 814 NAS assisted evacuation of civilians from a beach near Kyrenia
1974-decRefitalongside at HMD Devonport for an extended period of maintenance, until Feb 1975
1975-sep-1DeploymentEastern Mediterranean departed HMNB Devonport for Mediterranean & North Sea deployment, until Dec.
1975-nov-17AircraftAccident Sea King XV695 accident, North Sea
1976RefitASW Carrier refit to convert for Anti-Submarine helicopter operations
1977-junAircraftuntil Jul 1977 Wessex HU.5 of 846 NAS embarked
1977-jun-25Deployment Fleet Review: Silver Jubilee of HM The Queen Present at Silver Jubilee Fleet Review, off Ryde Sand
1977-aug-27DeploymentHMD Devonport Navy Days 1977 present at Plymouth Navy Days 1977
1979-may-31Aircraftoperated HMS Aurora Flight Wasp XT420 on loan for a month.
1980-janAircraftuntil Mar 1980 Sea King HAS.2 of 820 NAS embarked
1980-mar-20RefitSki jump refit to convert for Sea Harrier operations with ski-jump deck, until May 1981
1981Aircraftuntil 1983 Sea King HC.4 from various detatchments of 846 NAS embarked
1981Aircraftuntil 1984 Wessex HU.5 from various detatchments of 845 NAS embarked
1981-mayAircraftuntil Jul 1982 Sea King HAS.5 of 826 NAS embarked
1981-aug-29DeploymentHMNB Portsmouth Navy Days 1981 present at Portsmouth Navy Days 1981, Sea King HAS.5 XZ919 / 141-H on deck.
1981-sep-2Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for N Atlantic and eastern USA deployment, returned Dec.
1982-aprDeploymentAdmiral Woodward s flagship for Operation Corporate in South Atlantic
1982-apr-5DeploymentSouth Atlantic Operation Corporate Flag ship for the large UK task force (Carrier Battle Group was designated Task Force 317.8) despatched to retake the Falklands. Departed HMNB Portsmouth on 5 Apr with nine of 846 NAS Sea King HC.4 on deck. Her air group was maximised with as many RN Sea Harriers as could be mustered.
1982-apr-23AircraftAccident Sea King HC.4 ZA311 of 846 NAS/VP ditched and sank in poor visibility inside the Falkands Total Exclusion Zone.
1982-augRefitalongside maintenance at HMD Portsmouth, which was extended to include South Atlantic repairs, until Nov 1982.
1983-janAircraftembarked Sea Kings of 814 NAS as part of her Air Group until c Jun 1983
1983-sepDeploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for Mediterranean deployment with mixed aviation assets of 845 NAS (Wessex) and 846 NAS (Sea King) embarked. Returned to UK on 22 Nov for the last time, to pay off.
1985Fate: transferedto India

History of IN R22 INS Viraat

1986Refitat HMD Devonport (UK) for Indian Navy service
1986-aprFate: transferedbought by Indian Navy from RN (ex HMS Hermes)
1987-aug-21arrived Mumbai on 21 Aug with INAS 330 Sea Kings as part of her Air Group.
1999-julRefituntil Apr 2001, included improvements to communications, weapons, hanger facilities and radars
2007-sep-4DeploymentExercise Exercise Malabar 07-2 Participated in multi-national exercise in Bay of Bengal, until 9 Sep.



    from Improved Centaur class
24900light (tn)
29000full load (tn)
236.14length (m)
27.50beam (m)
9draught (m)
28max speed (knots)
76000power (shp)
2Missile Launcher Sea Cat
5Naval Gun twin 40 mm
1Naval Radar air direction radar Type 984
1Naval Radar carrier controlled approach radar Type 963
1Naval Radar surface and low level air search radar Type 293



    Typical Max
UK Royal Navy Westland Whirlwind 08
UK Royal Navy Westland Wessex 014
UK Royal Navy Westland Sea King 09

The Max option implies only aircraft of this model onboard    



UK BAE Systems (Vickers),

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