INS Viraat, world’s oldest serving aircraft carrier, decommissionedhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/picture-gallery-others/ins-viraat-indian-navy-worlds-oldest-serving-aircraft-carrier-photos-4556901/

INS Viraat, world’s oldest serving aircraft carrier, decommissioned

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The world’s oldest serving aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, will be decommissioned on March 6. Serving the Indian Navy for the last 30 years, Virat is the last serving British-built ship in the country. While addressing the media on Monday, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra said when the ship was purchased, India had planned to use it for five years. It went on to serve for 30 years. Its decommissioning is a historic moment for the Indian Navy.

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The INS Viraat was originally commissioned by the British Navy as HMS Hermes on November 18, 1959. She was decommissioned in 1984. In 1986, India was examining a number of vessels from several countries.

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Finally, it decided to lay its hands on the British carrier. Soon after, it was sent to Devonport dockyard to be refitted and sold to India for a sum of $465 million. In India, it was rechristened as INS Viraat.

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INS Viraat with fleet 1 (Source: PTI)

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A view of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat docked at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai (PTI)

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A view of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat docked at the Naval Dockyard ahead of its decommissioning after 30 years of service, in Mumbai on Monday. (PTI)

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Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra alongwith other Naval officers on the deck of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai . (PTI)

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File Photo: INS Virat takes part in the President's Fleet Review 2011 at Naval Dock

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Choppers land at INS Viraat, 06 March 2017. (PTI)

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The longest serving warship of the world, INS Virat of Indian Navy .

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The warship completed 30 years in service.

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Under the Indian Flag, the ship has clocked more than 22,622 flying hours by various aircraft in the past three decades and has spent nearly 2252 days at sea sailing and 5,88,287 NM (10,94,215 KM).

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Viraat has spent seven years at sea, covering the entire globe 27 times

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As the sun sets on March 6 the Naval Ensign and Commissioning Pendent will be lowered for a last time on board INS Viraat, symbolic of the end of Viraat era in the history of Indian Navy.