Fact in Focus : INS Viraat
After an illustrious and varied service life in the Indian navy, the aircraft carrier INS Viraat had been decommissioned by the Navy in 2017 and had since been looking for any place to be berthed as a museum/entertainment venue.
Though some interest was shown by the state governments of Goa, Andhra Pradesh & Maharashtra, no decision could be made.
However, with no receipt of any self-sustaining financial proposal by any state government, the Indian Government has decided to scrap the aircraft carrier.
Till date, the upkeep of the aircraft was being borne by the Central Government.
In 2018, the Maharashtra State Government had approved a proposal to convert the aircraft carrier into a museum & public hospitality center but it found no takers in the public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
An earlier aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant (Which served in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War) was maintained by the Navy in Mumbai for 17 years as there several attempts to convert it into a museum but none came to fruition and the aircraft carrier was scrapped in 2014.
It is unfortunate that another piece of Indian Naval hardware will meet the same fate.
About INS Viraat
INS Viraat is a Centaur class aircraft carrier which was commissioned in the Indian Navy in 1987. It was acquired from the British Royal Navy after serving for 25 years. Currently, the Indian Navy operates INS Vikramaditya (formerly SS Admiral Gorshkov) which was acquired from Russia. 2 more aircraft carriers are under construction and testing.