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INS Vikrant (from Sanskrit for "courageous") was a Majestic-class aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. The ship was laid down as HMS Hercules for the British Royal Navy during World War II and launched on 22 September 1945, but construction was put on hold when the war ended. India purchased the incomplete carrier in 1957, and construction was completed in 1961. Vikrant was commissioned as the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy and played a key role in enforcing the naval blockade of East Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. In its later years, the ship underwent major refits to embark modern aircraft, before being decommissioned in January 1997. Vikrant was preserved as a museum ship in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, until 2012. The ship was sold through an online auction in January 2014 and scrapped in November 2014 after final clearance from the Supreme Court. The Indian Navy is currently constructing its first home-built carrier, also named INS Vikrant, scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2018. (Full article...)
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