Mumbai: After three decades of service, two naval warships will be decommissioned tomorrow

Two warships, INS Nishank and INS Akshay, will be decommissioned Friday night in the Mumbai shipyard.

They will be decommissioned after 32 years at the forefront of safeguarding the nation’s maritime interests. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar will be the chief guest of the event.

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During the decommissioning ceremony, the ship’s decommissioning pennant, which is flown by the ship on the Sunday before the decommissioning date, is lowered. The pennant is the mark of a ship in service. The lowering of the pennant takes place at sunset, signifying the end of the ship’s commissioned service.

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The decommissioning pennant is equal to the length of the ship and after decommissioning it is preserved as part of naval history, a Navy spokesman said.

INS Nishank, the fourth in the Veer Class Missile Corvette, is an integral part of Killer Squadron, renowned for its heroism in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War.

It has the distinction of having operated on both the east and west coasts. The ship is armed with a surface-to-surface missile. It has been designated for display as a war relic in an appropriate historic location.

INS Akshay is part of the 23rd Patrol Ship Squadron, whose primary role is anti-submarine warfare and coastal patrol. With a formidable armament of long-range torpedoes and anti-submarine rockets, the “sub-hunter” was perpetually on gas, keeping enemy submarines at bay, the spokesman said.

During their illustrious career spanning more than three decades, these ships have deployed many times in heightened security situations, such as Operation Talwar during the Kargil War in 1999, Operation Parakram in 2001 and after the terrorist attack in Uri in 2016.