File photo of INS Viraat
India's magnificent second aircraft carrier, 'INS Viraat' lifted anchor for her final voyage from Mumbai to Kochi, powered by her own boilers, prior to her scheduled de-commissioning.
It served the Indian Navy with distinction for almost six decades. It is expected to reach the Southern Naval Command base on Wednesday for the pre-decommissioning preparations, official sources said in Mumbai.
This will involve a spell in a dry dock for dismantling and retrieving valuable and sensitive equipment including the engines, radars, big and small guns and other weaponry.
Kicking-off the dismantling process on May 6, her fleet of Sea Harrier aircraft flew off for the last time from her deck and was given a formal farewell at INS Hansa, in Goa two days later.
INS Viraat was the star attraction at the International Fleet Review held in Visakhapatnam in February this year.
As HMS Hermes, the ship had served the Royal Navy from 1959 to 1964 and led South Atlantic Task Force on an 8,000 km voyage to free the Falkland Islands from Argentina, which had taken them over.