INS Viraat on its last Journey
The INS Viraat is on the last journey and the ship is being towed back by three tugs to Mumbai for the decommissioning.
SCI Mukta, an Anchor Handling & Towing Vessel (AHTS) of the National Flagship Carrier i.e. The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd., has commenced towing the aircraft carrier; INS Viraat at 0700 hrs on 23rd October 2016 from Cochin to Mumbai. It will be decommissioned at Mumbai and its expected date of arrival at Mumbai on 29th October 2016.
INS Viraat is the oldest aircraft carrier in the world has completed the decommissioning refit in Cochin Shipyard on 04th September 2016. The ship arrived Cochin in last July for Essential Repairs and Dry Docking (ERDD) prior to the decommissioning. The second Centaur-Class aircraft carrier of the country has spent 29 years under the Indian flag and 27 years with the Royal Navy of UK, making it a total of 56 years of operational service and she holds the Guinness Record for being the oldest serving warship.
The iconic warship played a major role in Operation Jupiter, Operation Parakram and Operation Vijay after commissioned into Indian Navy. Decommissioning of INS Viraat is indeed an emotional
moment for India.
Further, change in technology and the huge maintenance cost made the decommissioning essential for INS Viraat. The future of the warship after decommissioning is yet to be decided by the Government. Both the Indian and British media are enthusiastic on the topic and discussions over the various possibilities have already been started. Few suggestions are to convert the ship to an aircraft carrier museum, luxury hotel or resorts are in the list. Eastern coastal states are considered to be the ideal place to preserve INS Viraat after the decommissioning at Mumbai, as sources told.