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Aircraft carrier INS Viraat decommissioned

Aircraft carrier INS Viraat decommissioned

MUMBAI: Aircraft carrier INS Viraat today sailed into sunset, after 30 years with the Indian Navy.

The warship was decommissioned this evening, at an impressive ceremony onboard and in the presence of Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and top armed forces officials.

INS Viraat was the second centaur-class aircraft carrier which was in service with Indian Navy for 30 years.

The aircraft carrier, in its earlier avatar, had won the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982 for the Royal British Navy.

It weighs about 27,800 tonnes and served in the British Navy as HMS Hermes from November 1959 to April 1984 and after refurbishment, was commissioned into the Indian Navy.

In the late 80s, Indian Navy purchased it at the cost of USD 65 million and was re-commissioned on 12 May 1987.

On its last day in service today, the fate of the aircraft carrier remained unclear as to whether it will be converted into a luxury hotel or head to the scrapyard to be broken up.

“We would like to have Viraat as a museum or a diving spot in Mumbai,” the Navy chief told reporters after the ceremony. (AGENCIES)

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