The Decommissioned Naval Aircraft carrier INS Virat arrives at the Alang ship breaking yard to go under hammer from Sep 28

INS Viraat, the world's longest serving warship that was decommissioned by the Indian Navy three years ago, has arrived off the Alang coast in Gujarat for dismantling, according to local media reports

The aircraft carrier began its final journey from the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on september 19th and reached the waters at Alang in Bhavnagar district on 21st evening. It will be dismantled at the ship breaking yard in Alang and then sold as scrap.

The warship, which was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987, was purchased by Shree Ram Group for a sum of Rs 38.54 crore at an auction in July this year.

After all the formalities are completed, subject to weather conditions and tide, we are scheduling its beaching at our yard for dismantling during high tide on September 28th.

INS Viraat holds the record for being the world's longest serving warship

INS Viraat holds the record for being the world's longest serving warship. It was the second centaur-class aircraft carrier which was in service with the Indian Navy for 29 years before being decommissioned in March 2017.

There were proposals from both Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra government in the past to preserve it as a maritime museum but both the states could not match the sum offered by the scrap dealers.

The decision to scrap INS Viraat taken in consultation with the Indian Navy

In July 2019, the Central government said in Parliament that the decision to scrap INS Viraat was taken in due consultation with the Indian Navy. It is the second aircraft carrier to be broken down in India. In 2014, INS Vikrant was dismantled in Mumbai.

The aircraft carrier, in its earlier avatar, had won the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982 for the Royal British Navy. It weighs about 27,800 tonnes and served in the British Navy as HMS Hermes from November 1959 to April 1984 and after refurbishment, was commissioned into the Indian Navy.

In late 80s, the Indian Navy purchased it at a cost of 65 million US Dollars from the British Navy and it was re-commissioned on May 12, 1987.

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