INS Viraat to be converted into India’s first-ever moored maritime museum-cum-marine adventure centre
The Maharashtra Cabinet has recently approved the conversion of decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat into a floating museum. It will be India’s first-ever moored maritime museum-cum-marine adventure centre. As per primary estimates, the project worth Rs 852 crore will be implemented through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP). 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. This will enable the tourists to see the diverse aquatic life and experience sky-diving, sailing and other thrilling sporting activities. Besides, it will make the new generation familiar with the glorious history of INS Viraat. INS Viraat, which holds a place of pride in Indian defence history, was decommissioned in March 2017 and since then has been laid up at the Naval Dockyard. 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. It is 743-foot long and 160-foot wide with a height of 29 feet.