India's 19,500-ton British Glory -class aircraft carrier Vikrant was launched in 1945 as HMS Glory. Purchased still incomplete in 1957 and completed in 1961, she came to the end of her career on 31 January, although the ship may be preserved as a museum. Between 1979 and 1989, the Vikrant had spent no less than 96 months under repair, and she had not moved under her own power since before this August 1994 view was taken at Bombay. India's other carrier, the 28,700ton Viraat (ex-HMS Hermes , laid down in 1944), will shortly begin a lengthy overhaul intended to extend her service to around 2005. Negotiations with Russia to purchase the last Kiev -class semicarrier, the Admiral Gorshkov (ex- Baku ), seem to have fallen through, and plans to construct a 15,000-ton light carrier in India remain nebulous and unfunded. Thus, the remaining 20 Sea Harrier shipboard aircraft will have no seagoing home for most of the remainder of this decade and probably again after the Viraat is retired. Of the other surviving World War II-era British-built light carriers, Argentina's long-inactive Veinticinco de Mayo (ex-Dutch Karel Doorman , ex-HMS Venerable ) was handed a death sentence last December when her long-planned reengining was canceled, while the Brazilian Air Force-operated S-2E Tracker fixed-wing aircraft for the Minas Gerais (ex-HMS Vengeance ) were grounded late last year, although the ship, perhaps overoptimistically, is still expected to sail until 2010.
India's largest naval ship, the 35,900-ton (full load) replenishment oiler Jyoti , is seen at St. Petersburg, Russia, shortly after commissioning on 19 July 1996. Begun at Admiralty Shipyard as a Komandarm Fedko -class double-hulled commercial tanker, she was launched on 8 December 1995, has been equipped with two constant-tension fueling rigs on either beam, and can carry 25,040 tons of liquid cargo. The S85-foot long by 83-foot beam Jyoti has a maximum loaded speed of only 15 knots on the 10,948 brake horsepower from her single low-speed diesel engine. A near-sister, begun at Kherson in 1989 as the Soviet Navy's Vladimir Peregutov , was sold incomplete to China in 1992 and commissioned on 2 June 1996.
Singapore's 500-ton patrol combatant Fearless , the first of 12 on order locally for completion by the end of this year, was commissioned on 5 October 1996, along with sisters Brave and Courageous . The first six are equipped for antisubmarine warfare, with two sets of triple tubes for Italian A-244S torpedoes and a hull-mounted Thomson-Marconi TSM-2362 sonar. Starting with the Resilience , launched on 23 November, antiship missiles are planned to replace the antisubmarine gear. Armament common to both variants includes the OTO Breda Super Rapid 76-mm gun forward, a twin Simbad manned launcher aft for Mistral heatseeking surface-to-air missiles, and four light machine guns. The 180-foot, 36-knot craft are unusual in being propelled by twin KaMeWa waterjets.