INS Viraat, Oldest Aircraft Carrier, Is Ready To Retire. See Pics
Updated: March 06, 2017 10:48 IST
The Indian Navy's oldest aircraft carrier INS Viraat is all set to be decommissioned today after 57 years of service, including 27 in the Royal Navy. Sea Harrier fighters, Sea King and Kamov helicopters flew off the ship, which has sailed nearly 11 lakh km, enough to cover the globe 27 times.
INS Viraat played a major role in 1989 in the Sri Lankan peace keeping operation and was also used during the Operation Parakram after the 2001 parliament attack.
It will be decommissioned at sunset today and if no buyer is found for the ship in four months, it will be broken up and sold for scrap, said the Navy chief.
The motto of the outgoing warship, INS Viraat was 'Jalamev Yasya, Balmev Tasya' (Sanskrit, meaning - One Who Controls the Sea is All Powerful)
The Andhra Pradesh government had indicated that it may be willing to convert the old ship into a museum, but the project will cost almost Rs. 1,000 crore.
INS Viraat may even be sunk to convert it into a major tourist attraction for divers.