INS Viraat was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes in 1959 It was transferred to India in 1987 after the necessary repairs and upgrades were conducted. After close to fifty seven years of glorious service , the last of the Centaur-class conventional aircraft carriers is all set to be decommissioned in 2016.

070907-N-8591H-194 BAY OF BENGAL (Sept. 7, 2007) - An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Strike Fighter Squadron 102, left, and an F/A-18E Super Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron 27, foreground, fly in formation with two Indian Navy Sea Harriers, bottom, and two Indian Air Force Jaguars, right, over USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) during exercise Malabar 07-2. More than 20,000 personnel from the navies of the United States, Australia, India, Japan and Singapore are participating in the exercise. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jarod Hodge (RELEASED)


On the request from the govt. of Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) authorities have received an in-principle approval from the Ministry of Defence to convert the ship into a museum at the Kakinada port in the Bay of Bengal, on the eastern shore of the country.

The state government is reportedly investing close to INR 200 million to ensure that the ageing beast can be converted into a museum. The vessel will be docked at the shores of the Kakinada port and will serve as a tourist attraction.

This is a welcoming move as INS Vikrant the first Air craft carrier was broken up as making it a museum was considered nonviable. The state already has one submarine museum , the INS Kursura , and the addition of INS Viraat to the state is only expected to bring in more revenue and visitors to the state.

AP CM Chandrababu Naidu is instrumental in preserving both INS Kursura and INS Viraat which were instrumental in India winning over Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war by converting them into a Museum.


News source: The Tribune

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