INS Rajput decommissioned after 41 years

The Kashin-class destroyer, built by the erstwhile USSR, was commissioned on May 4, 1980. File Photo  

Destroyer INS Rajput, built by the erstwhile USSR, was decommissioned on Friday at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam after 41 years of service.

“The ship was decommissioned in a solemn and low key event due to the ongoing COVID Pandemic when the national flag, Naval ensign, and the decommissioning pennant were lowered at sunset time…,” the Navy said in a statement.

INS Rajput was constructed in the 61 Communards Shipyard in Nikolaev, present-day Ukraine, under her original Russian name Nadezhny meaning ‘Hope’. The keel of the ship was laid on September 11, 1976, and was launched into water on September 17, 1977. The ship was commissioned as INS Rajput on May 4, 1980 at Poti, Georgia by I.K. Gujral, then Ambassador of India to the USSR with Capt. Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani as her first Commanding Officer.

In 41 years, the ship had 31 Commanding Officers at her helm with the last CO taking charge of the ship on 14 Aug 2019. The ship since its commissioning has sailed a distance of over 7,87,194 nautical miles which is equivalent to navigating around the world 36.5 times and 3.8 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon, the Navy said.

With the motto “Raj Karega Rajput”, INS Rajput has participated in several important Naval operations over the years. Some of these include Operation Aman off Sri Lanka to assist the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), Operation Pawan for patrolling duties off the coast of Sri Lanka, Operation Cactus to resolve hostage situation off the Maldives and Operation Crowsnest off Lakshadweep.

In addition, the ship also took part in various cyclone relief operations including off Odisha coast in 1999, relief operations post Tsunami in Andaman & Nicobar Islands in 2004 and HADR mission after the earthquake at Jakarta.

The ship was also the first Indian Naval Ship to be affiliated with an Indian Army regiment, the Rajput Regiment. INS Rajput was also the first ship in the Navy to get the first version of the BrahMos antiship supersonic cruise missile in 2005.

The Indian Navy inducted its first destroyer in 1949 with the three R class ships followed by the Hunt class of ships, both from the UK. Both these classes were decommissioned from service in the 1970s.

The Rajput class was followed by the Delhi class of destroyers, the first indigenously designed and built destroyers and inducted into service in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was followed by three Kolkata class destroyers built under Project 15 and the under construction Vishakhapatnam class of stealth destroyers under Project 15B.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 10:16:33 AM |

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