Mumbai: INS Godavari, the country's first indigenously designed and built warship was on Wednesday decommissioned after thirty-two years of service. The ship's flag was lowered for the last time during the ceremony in Mumbai, with many of her former commanding officers on board.
But the ship will not meet the same fate as aircraft carrier INS Vikrant which was sold as scrap after the decommissioning.
"INS Godavari is likely to be used as a target to practice missile firing," said a naval official. This "burial at sea" will be the right honor for the frigate which served the country for 32 years and will "die" serving the nation (during target practice), he said. A senior naval official said the frigate will first be 'destored' (removed) and all essential and important components will be removed.
"We will first destore it and all the important components, like the weaponry, will be removed, and then it is likely to be used as a target," he said.
Another official said the destored articles will be used on new frigates or other frigates of same class. Over the past three decades, INS Godavari was deployed in numerous operations including 'Operation Jupiter' 1988 (Sri Lanka), 'Operation Shield' and 'Operation Bolster' 1994 (de-induction of Indian Army from Somalia) and 'Patrol of Gulf of Aden' 2009 and 2011 (anti-piracy operations).
In 1988, it was part of 'Operation Cactus' where India successfully thwarted a coup d'état against the Maldivian Government.
INS Godavari was showcased around the world as a symbol of India's growing military might and self-reliance. A special postal cover commemorating the decommissioning of the ship was unveiled on the occasion.