INS Viraat was decommissioned today. She started serviced in 1959 with the UK's Royal Navy before being transferred to the Indian Navy in 1987
INS Viraat is the flagship of the Indian Navy and was its oldest aircraft carrier till it remained in service.The Indian Navy wants to convert the ship into a museum or a diving spot in Mumbai
Viraat sailed for the last time under her own power from Mumbai to Kochi on July 23, 2016. She was dry-docked and prepared for decommissioning subsequently.
INS Viraat spent 27 years in the Royal Navy of UK after it was commissioned in 1959. It was transferred to India in 1987 and spent the next 30 years with the Indian Navy.
The effective life of any ship with the best of refits and repairs is about 40 years. The INS Viraat has beaten that estimate by a huge margin.
The ship served the Indian Navy in various capacities including 1989's 'Operation Jupiter' where it was a part of Indian Peace Keeping Operations in Sri Lanka.
It also played a key role in 'Operation Parakram' undertaken after the terrorist attack on Parliament in December 2001.
The aircrafts on board the INS Viraat included the BAE Sea Harrier, Alouette III, HAL Chetak and Westland Sea King.
The Andhra Pradesh government has proposed to convert INS Viraat into a hotel and museum. The Ministry of Defence is expected to take a decision on the matter soon.
INS Vikramaditya was brought in as a replacement for INS Viraat. The ship was purchased from Russia and formally inducted into the Indian Navy in 2014.
The next aircraft carrier, under construction at Cochin, is expected to be named Vikrant. It will be the Indian Navy's first home-built aircraft carrier.