Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh wish to preserve decommissioned carrier INS Viraat, says navy official

Mumbai: Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh have shown willingness to preserve decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat, a senior navy official said on Monday.

Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Western Naval Command Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, told reporters that Maharashtra government officials have visited the ship. "Maharashtra government has studied the (ship's final) location and its officials have visited the ship. It will send a report to the Centre. We are expecting a decision soon," he said, after the ceremony of affiliation of INS Kochi with Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment (JAKLI) in Mumbai.

File image of INS Viraat. Reuters

File image of INS Viraat. Reuters

Goa and Andhra Pradesh have also evinced an interest in preserving the aircraft carrier, which decommissioned at the naval dockyard in Mumbai in July, the official said.

The event had marked the end of an era of INS Viraat being the flagship of the Indian Navy. The Centaur-class carrier spent 30 years in the Indian Navy and 27 years in the Royal Navy. In August, JAKLI was affiliated with INS Kochi and 51 Squadron air force, at a ceremony held at the JAKLI Regimental Centre at Rangreth, on the outskirts of Srinagar.

"Such affiliation helps for better inter-operability among the armed forces," Vice Admiral Luthra said. INS Kochi is the second ship of the indigenously designed and constructed Kolkata Class guided missile stealth destroyers built by the Mazagon Dock Ltd at Mumbai.

JAKLI was affiliated to INS Ganga, a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate which was decommissioned in March.

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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2018 18:33:51 IST

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