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HMS Hermes (R12)

The second HMS Hermes (R12) was the last of the postwar conventional aircraft carriers commissioned into the Royal Navy, in 1959. She was laid down by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness during WW II as HMS Elephant, part of the Centaur class. Construction was suspended in 1945 but work was resumed in 1952 to clear the slipway and the hull was launched on February 16, 1953. The vessel remained unfinished until 1957, she was extensively modified and entered service on November 18, 1959 as Hermes. She was redesignated as a commando carrier in 1971 and then as a V/STOL carrier. She was the flagship during the Falklands War. She served with the Royal Navy until April 12, 1984. she was stricken in 1985 and in April 1986 she was refitted and sold to India and recommissioned as the INS Viraat in 1989.

Displacement: 23,000 tons
Crew: 2,100
Length: 236.14 m
Beam: 45.10 m
Draught: 8.48 m
Propulsion: 2 Parson turbines, 76,000 shp
Speed: 28 Knots
Armament: Ten 40mm Bofors
Aircraft: up to 28 Sea Harriers

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