INS Viraat to be turned into maritime museum.

New life for INS Viraat

The Maharashtra state cabinet on Thursday cleared the decks for the Navy's longest-serving aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, now retired, to be converted into India’s first-ever moored maritime museum-cum-marine adventure centre.

Conversion to museum

As per the Maharashtra government's Rs 852-crore plan for Viraat, the ship's conversion will be on publicprivate-partnership (PPP) basis. It will be grouted (grounded, sealed to the seabed with concrete and moored) seven nautical miles off the Malvan coast at Nivati rocks in Sindhudurg. Officials said that the world over, only seven aircraft carriers have been converted into museums, theme parks and luxury hotels.


World's oldest aircraft carrier

The ship is the World's oldest aircraft carrier, according to the Indian Navy, which bought it in 1986 and recommissioned it a year later. At present, Viraat is at Mumbai’s Naval dockyard after its decommissioning in 2017.

INS Viraat was commissioned by Navy in 1987 and had taken part in all major military operations such as Operation Jupiter (1988, Sri Lanka peacekeeping mission), Operation Vijay (1999, post-Kargil), and Operation Parakram (2001, after Parliament attack). It was made in 1959 for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy as HMS Hermes and was instrumental in the Falklands War victory. From the time Viraat was inducted to the Indian Navy, she underwent 14 refits to ensure longevity. It is 743-foot long and 160-foot wide with a height of 29 feet.

Current Affairs Home