Monday, October 12, 2009

INS Vikrant

Date of Issue: February 16, 1986
Scott #: 1115

India Post issued this stamp of INS Vikrant to commemorate her Silver Jubilee on February 16, 1986.

INS Vikrant, (R11) formerly HMS Hercules, was a Majestic-class light aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. The name Vikrant was taken from Sanskrit vikrānta meaning "stepped beyond", i.e. "courageous", "victorious".

The HMS Hercules was purchased by the Govt. of India on 1957 and the ship was commissioned as INS Vikrant on February 16, 1961. Her service to the country, particularly during Indo-Pak war on 1971 showed her real prowess and shall always be remembered. As the flagship of the Eastern Fleet, commencing on December 04, 1971, she launched strikes on Cox Bazar, Chittagong airfield and ships in harbor of Chalna, Khulna, and Mongla. The part played by Vikrant in the 1971 operations undoubtedly helped hasten the surrender of Pakistani troops.
The stamp is based on the art work prepared by Alka Sharma and designed by India Security Press, Nashik. The First Day Cover shows a Sea Harrier Aircraft ready for take off and Seaking Aircraft started upon either side of the deck ready for launch and the crest of INS Vikrant superimposed on it. The cancellation designed by Alka Sharma.

Vikrant was India's only carrier for over twenty years, but by the early 1990s she was effectively out of service because of her poor condition. Even following major overhauls she was rarely put to sea. She was formally decommissioned on January 31, 1997 and is preserved as a museum at Mumbai. She is the only World War II-era British-built aircraft carrier to be preserved as a museum.

Source: Wikipedia, India Post information brochure.

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