INS Viraat retires today after 30 glorious years of service

The ministry clarified that it can provide technical help and advice, not major funding for the project. It is worth mentioning that the first aircraft carrier of the country, INS Vikrant, was decommissioned on January 31, 1997 and as efforts to convert it into a maritime museum failed, the ship had to be scrapped at Darukhana in Mumbai

Arnima Dwivedi
Published on: 6 March 2017 4:04 AM GMT
INS Viraat retires today after 30 glorious years of service
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INS Viraat retires today after 30 glorious years of service
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New Delhi: After serving the nation for 30 years tirelessly, the second aircraft carrier in the Indian naval fleet, INS Viraat, will be decommissioned in Mumbai, on Monday, in the presence of Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff.

The Indian Navy is, however, worried about the post-retirement condition of the 58-year-old aircraft carrier and does not want it to be scrapped, same as what was done with INS Vikrant after its decommissioning. The Navy has proposed to convert INS Viraat into a museum but the proposal is yet to take concrete shape.

A defence source said, "It will cost almost Rs 1,000 crore to convert the 13-storey high INS Viraat into the proposed aircraft carrier museum, with a proper final resting place or berthing, backed by a self-sustaining revenue model. The Andhra government is willing to take the carrier but is demanding the Ministry of Defence foot half the cost."

The defence ministry officials have stated that they may be forced to scrap the 27,800-tonne carrier, which saw operational service in the Royal British Navy for 27 years before being inducted by the Indian Navy in 1987, because of the continuing complicated situation with the Andhra Pradesh government over who will foot the bill.

The ministry clarified that it can provide technical help and advice, not major funding for the project.

It is worth mentioning that the first aircraft carrier of the country, INS Vikrant, was decommissioned on January 31, 1997 and as efforts to convert it into a maritime museum failed, the ship had to be scrapped at Darukhana in Mumbai.

India now has only one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya. The new carrier, which has also been named Vikrant, in memory of the original British-built carrier Vikrant, is being constructed at the Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi.

“We hope that Vikrant would be ready for sea trials by the end of 2018,” said Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command.

Arnima Dwivedi

Arnima Dwivedi

A journalist, presently working as a sub-editor with newstrack.com. I love exploring new genres of humans and humanity.

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