Decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat which set sail for the last time towards Alang in Gujrat on September 19, is set to be dismantled today.
The Centaur-class aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy has served for nearly 30 years. It also holds the Guinness record for world’s largest serving warship.
“This historic warship has sailed almost 11 lakh kms, enough to travel the globe 27 times over,” said Shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya while addressing the farewell event.
“Today I pay homage to ex INS Viraat at Alang, Gujarat. INS Viraat served our nation for 30 glorious years and after decommissioning, She is moving towards her last journey for recycling at Alang,” he added.
While INS Viraat is being dismantled, another huge warship is currently under construction.
INS Viraat was commissioned in 1959 as Royal Navy’s HMS Hermes and decommissioned in 1984. It was subsequently sold to India and commissioned into Indian Navy on May 12, 1987.
The aircraft carrier was capable of maritime and land-based missions as well as engagements in anti-submarine warfare.
The ship was deployed in many operations including ‘Operation Jupiter’ and the Sri Lankan Peace Keeping Force Operations in 1989, ‘Ops Prakaram’ following the 2001 parliament attacks.
It is the second aircraft carrier to be broken down in India after INS Vikrant, which was dismantled in Mumbai in 2014.