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End of an era: Oldest aircraft carrier INS Viraat to be decommissioned

Mumbai: INS Viraat, the world’s oldest aircraft carrier in active service will be decommissioned on Monday day with a ceremonial send-off in Mumbai.

A glorious chapter in the Indian Navy’s history will come to an end today when INS Viraat, the longest serving aircraft carrier will retire after serving the country for nearly three decades.

The decision on the warship’s future has not been taken yet. But the warship would be possibly converted into a museum, hotel or preserving it as a relic of maritime history.

Navy Chief Sunil Lanba told NDTV that the carrier will be sold as scrap if they are unable to find a buyer for it in four months.

The decommissioning ceremony will be attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and other dignitaries.

The grand event will see the lowering and wrap-up of the naval flag installed on the warship at sunset, marking an end to a long sea odyssey lasting 55 years.

INS Viraat was commissioned in Indian Navy in 1987, before that the historic ship served Royal British Navy for 27 long years.

It was built in 1943, during the Second World War.

The carrier has provided utmost protection to the country during many tense situations.

ANI