Indian Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier, INS Viraat will be decommissioned at sunset today, after serving the Indian Navy for nearly 30 years. The aircraft carrier, famously known as the ‘Grand Old Lady’ holds the Guinness world record for the oldest carrier in service.
INS Viraat was first built in 1943 during the Second World War. The ship was inducted into the Indian Navy on May 12th, 1987 after it was bought by the Indian government for Rs 6.5 crore from the British Royal Navy where it served since 1959.
INS Viraat, Source: southreport
Navy Chief Sunil Lamba on Monday told ndtv that one of the plans being considered for the aircraft carrier is converting it into a major tourist attraction for divers.
While speaking to the ndtv Chief Lamba said, “One proposal could be that we convert her into a marine museum by taking her to one of our major tourist harbors and sink her in the water and make her into a dive site where some aircraft carriers have been put to rest also, and she would be there as a legacy.”
Although, the final fate of the warship is not yet decided, Andhra Pradesh government proposed that it will turn the ship into a museum. But, the project will cost around Rs 1000 crore.
The decommissioning ceremony in Mumbai will be attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and other dignitaries.
At present, INS Vikramaditya is the only serving aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. The second one, Vikrant, is under construction at Cochin Shipyard Ltd. The first one, INS Vikrant was commissioned by the Indian Navy in 1961 and later was decommissioned on 31st January 1997.
INS Vikramaditya, Source: jeffhead
INS Viraat has provided utmost protection and has safeguarded the country during many tense situations. This marks the end of an era indeed.
Information source: timesofindia
Title image: newindianexpress