INS Viraat, the longest-serving warship is on its way from Mumbai to the world’s biggest ship breaking yard Alang, Gujarat to be dismantled. INS Viraat served for a total of 57 years, 27 years in the UK’s Royal Navy as HMS Hermes and 30 years in India.
In March 2017 INS Viraat was decommissioned at Mumbai in a grand ceremony in the presence over 1,300 personnel who served on the Centaur-class aircraft carrier. Navy personnel, their families and history enthusiasts bid a teary goodbye to INS Viraat, which took part in crucial missions such as “Operation Jupiter” (1989) and “Parakram” (2001).
INS Viraat has spent 2,252 days at sea across 10,94,215 km which equates to nearly seven years since its inception in 1987. The vessel weighs 27,800 tonnes, with a maximum speed of 20 knots. And also has its name in the Guinness World record as the longest-serving warship in the world. The vessel underwent three major refits in its 30 years’ service at the Indian Navy.
INS Viraat also referred to as ‘Mother’ was the flagship of the Indian Navy. She was commanded by 13 Captains of Royal Navy, and 22 Captains of Indian Navy. While serving in the Indian Navy INS Vikrant raised 40 Flag officers, including five Chiefs of Naval staff.
There were many discussions about converting INS Viraat into a restaurant or a museum. But in the end, INS Viraat will be dismantled and some parts of her will be sold. INS Vikramaditya has been operating as the lone aircraft carrier in the navy after decommissioning INS Viraat in 2017. INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier will soon be operating with INS Vikramaditya.
देहिनोऽस्मिन्यथा देहे कौमारं यौवनं जरा।
तथा देहान्तरप्राप्तिर्धीरस्तत्र न मुह्यति।।
… the Spirit lives on pic.twitter.com/RaAuCVPjGM
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) September 19, 2020