New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the dismantling of decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat, on a plea by a firm which wanted to convert the ship into a maritime museum & multi-functional adventure centre.
The aircraft carrier was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1987 after which it served for almost 30 years and was decommissioned in March 2017.
The order of status quo on demolition of decommissioned aircraft carrier was passed by a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
Viraat played a major role in Operation Jupiter in 1989 during the Sri Lankan Peacekeeping operation, after which it was affiliated with the Garhwal Rifles and Scouts of the Indian Army in 1990. It also saw action during Operation Parakram in 2001-2002, post the terrorist attack on Parliament. The ship was instrumental in honing the art of flying operations from a carrier deck in the Navy, which also resulted in seamless induction of INS Vikramaditya and its integration with the fleet.
INS Viraat holds the world record as mentioned in the Guinness Book of records for being the longest serving warship of the world. The ship which was the centerpiece of the Navy, housed the fighters Sea Harriers of INAS 300, popularly called “White Tigers”, Anti Submarine aircraft Sea king Mk 42B - also known as “Harpoons” , Sea King Mk 42 C and the SAR helicopter Chetak as an integral flight. The indigenous Advance Light Helicopters ‘Dhruv’ and the Russian twin rotor Kamov-31 have also operated from the ship.
The ship has clocked more than 22,622 flying hours by various aircraft in the past three decades and has spent nearly 2252 days at sea sailing across 5,88,287 nautical miles (10,94,215 KM). This implies that Viraat has spent seven years at sea, circumnavigating the globe 27 times. Since her inception, she has had a total of 80,715 hours of boilers running(UNI)