INS Rajput sails into the sunset

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As the sun set over the sky of Vizag, the Tricolor, Naval Ensign and Decommissioning Pendant were lowered for the last time on Friday on the INS Rajput – the first Kashin-class destroyer of the Indian Navy – at the Naval Dockyard here.

The warship was decommissioned after 41 years of service in the Navy in the presence of Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Commander in Chief of the Eastern Navy Command.

Special mail coverage was released by the ENC chief in recognition of the Yeoman service the ship provided to the nation.

INS Rajput was commissioned on May 4, 1980 in Poti, Georgia (formerly USSR) as the lead ship of the Rajput class destroyers of the Indian Navy with Captain (later Vice Admiral) Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani as first in command. During her service, the ship had the distinction of being part of the western and eastern fleets. She was stationed in Mumbai until June 1988 and was then relocated to Visakhapatnam as part of the Eastern Fleet.

Considered a formidable ship in her class, she was armed with a range of weapons and sensors, including surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, torpedoes, and anti-submarine rocket launchers. INS Rajput was also the first ship equipped to launch the supersonic cruise and the BrahMos long-range missile. She was also the first Indian naval ship to be affiliated with an Indian army regiment, the Rajput Regiment.

In addition to participating in various naval operations, she took part in a number of relief missions in 1999, including cyclone relief missions off the coast of Odisha, relief missions after the 2004 tsunami in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the subsequent HADR mission to the earthquake in Jakarta.

During her glorious service to the nation, the ship was directed by 31 commanders.

The ship has covered a distance of over 7.87.194 nautical miles, which corresponds to a 36.5-fold and 3.8-fold navigation around the world from the earth to the moon.

The decommissioning ceremony was attended by a small number of officers and sailors from the Eastern Fleet and other ENC organizations while adhering to COVID-19 protocols. The event was streamed live on the internet and on the Naval intranet to serve larger audiences such as outstation servants, veterans and ex-crew members who had served on board the ship.

Virtual attendees included Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Chief of Staff for Integrated Defense of the Chief of Staff, former commanders and officers and seamen of the picking team.

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