Indian Navy’s 1st destroyer INS Rajput was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh after 41 years of service (commissioned on May 4, 1980). It was the 1st Indian Navy ship to be associated with an Indian Army Regiment – ‘Rajput regiment’, and the 1st ship to be fitted with anti-ship supersonic cruise missile ‘Brahmos’ in 2005.
- The destroyer was built by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) under her Russian name ‘Nadezhny’ meaning ‘hope’ at 61 Communards Shipyard in Nikolaev, present-day Ukraine.
- It was commissioned at Poti, Georgia (erstwhile USSR) by I K Gujral, the then Indian Ambassador to the USSR; Captain Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani was the 1st Commanding Officer of INS Rajput.
- With the motto of ‘Raj Karega Rajput’ it was the lead ship of the Kashin-class destroyers.
- It was decommissioned in the presence of Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command, who was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
i.Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh released a Special Postal Cover in recognition of INS Rajput’s service to Indian Navy.
ii.INS Rajput has served both the Western (based in Mumbai till 1988) & Eastern Fleet (Visakhapatnam) of the Indian Navy.
iii.It has participated in various naval operations like
- Operation Pawan – to regain control of Jaffna in Sri Lanka from LTTE
- Operation Aman – conduct off the coast of Sri Lanka to assist Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF)
- Operation Cactus – resolving hostage situation of Maldives
- Operation Crowsnest off Lakshadweep.
iv.Until its decommissioning it has been led by 31 Commanding Officers and has sailed a distance of over 7, 87, 194 nautical miles.
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On 16th March 2021, Indian Army decommissioned 2 of its longest serving Artillery – 130mm Self Propelled M-46 Catapult Guns and the 160mm Tampella Mortars, after making a customary firing of their last salvos in Mahajan Field Firing Range.
About Indian Navy
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy) – New Delhi