Indian Navy Rajput-Class Destroyer INS Ranjit Decommissioned After 36 Years of Service

The Indian Navy’s Rajput-class guided-missile destroyer, INS Ranjit was decommissioned after 36 years of service during a ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on May 6.

The decommissioning ceremony was attended by officers and sailors of the commissioning crew as well as other who have been part of Ranjit’s voyage over the last 36 years.

The Chief Guest for the Decommissioning ceremony was Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi PVSM AVSM YSM NM VSM ADC (Retd), the Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, who was also a part of the commissioning crew. The ceremony was graced by 16 officers and 10 sailors from the commissioning crew and 23 erstwhile commanding officers.

At the sunset, the National Flag, Naval Ensign and Commissioning Pennant on the ship were lowered for one last time.

INS Ranjit is the third of the five Rajput-class destroyers built for the Indian Navy. The Rajput-class destroyers are modified versions of Soviet Kashin-class destroyers. They are also known as Kashin-II class. They were the first ships in the Indian Navy to deploy the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile systems.

Ranjit was laid down by Indian request under the Soviet name Lovkiy at the 61 Kommunara Shipbuilding Plant in Nikolayev, Ukraine on 29 June 1977 with the serial number 2203. The destroyer was launched on 16 June 1979 and added to the list of ships of the Soviet Navy on 30 October 1981. Commissioned into the Black Sea Fleet for temporary duty on 7 July 1983, she was transferred to the Indian Navy and renamed Ranjit on 24 November.

She was commissioned on 24 November 1983 with Captain Vishnu Bhagwat in command. The ship has been helmed by 27 commanding officers and the last commanding officer, Captain Vikram C Mehra has been in command since June 6, 2017.

The ship since her commissioning has sailed for 2190 days covering a distance of over 7,43,000 nautical miles which is equivalent to navigating around the world 35 times and 3.5 times the distance from earth to moon.

The ship has been at the forefront of major naval operations and has the distinction of serving on both Eastern and Western seaboards. Apart from various naval operations like Operation Talwar and various multinational exercises, the ship has also been a flag bearer of the Indian Navy’s benign role by participating in relief operations post Tsunami in 2004 and Hud-hud on 2014. In recognition of the service rendered by the ship to the nation, the ship was awarded Unit Citations by the Chief of Naval Staff in 2003-04 and in 2009-10.

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