World's longest-serving warship INS Viraat to be decommissioned on March 6
The Naval Ensign and Commissioning Pendent will be lowered for the last time on board INS Viraat symbolizing the end of her glorious era in Indian naval history at sunset on March 6.
INS Viraat, the second aircraft carrier in the Indian naval fleet, will be decommissioned on March 6, after 57 years of service, including 27 with the Royal Navy, a top official said in Mumbai on Monday.
Admiral Sunil Lanba, the chief of Naval Staff, be present for the momentous occasion, along with some officers and men from India and United Kingdom who serve with her, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra, said, according to a report in Press Trust of India.
The report said the Naval Ensign and Commissioning Pendent will be lowered for the last time on board INS Viraat symbolizing the end of her glorious era in Indian naval history at sunset on March 6.
Speaking to mediaperons on board the ship for the last time, Vice-Admiral Luthra said the ceremonies of the Guinness Record holder warship shall be commemorated by releasing a book on her history, and a Special Cover by Army Postal Service.
Luthra said the central government is examining various aspects and proposals and would convey plans for converting the ship into a memorial floating museum to the Indian Navy soon.
The Andhra Pradesh government has formally evinced interest in making the INS Viraat a museum, though similar plans for the erstwhile Vikrant had failed.
"We were keen to retain (INS) Vikrant (as a museum), but it did not materialize," Vice-Admiral Luthra said, referring to the country's first aircraft carrier which ended up in the scrap yard in Mumbai.
Currently, INS Vikramaditya is the only serving aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy and the second one, named Vikrant, is under construction at Cochin Shipyard Ltd.