A glorious era in the history of the Indian Navy will come to an end on March 6, when the Naval Ensign and Commissioning Pendent onboard INS Viraat will be lowered for the last time.
Ending the Viraat era, the aircraft carrier will be decommissioned at a grand ceremony at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.
The flagship of the Indian Naval fleet, INS Viraat is the longest-serving warship in the world. She is getting ready for decommissioning after 30 glorious years of service. Prior to joining the Indian Navy, the ship served the Royal Navy for 27 years. The Centaur-Class aircraft carrier was commissioned into the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987.
The decommissioning ceremony will be attended by personnel who worked onboard Viraat, including some officers from the United Kingdom. At the ceremony, a ‘special cover’ by the Army Postal Service and a book on the history of Viraat will be released.
The ship has spent 2,252 days at sea, sailing 5,88,287 NM over the past three decades, upholding the motto ‘Jalamev Yasya, Balamev Tasys’ (One Who Controls the Sea is All Powerful). This implies Viraat has spent seven years at sea and travelled around the globe 27 times.
The ship had played a major role in Operation Jupiter in 1989, during the Sri Lankan Peace Keeping operation. In 1990, she was affiliated with Garhwal Riffles and Scouts of the Indian Army. Her major contribution was in Operation Parakram in 2001-2002, during the standoff between India and Pakistan following a terrorist attack on the Parliament.