Ten More Years For INS Viraat?

What a ship. India's sole aircraft carrier INS Viraat could remain in service till 2020, according to the man who looks after foreign cooperation for the Navy, Rear Admiral Anil Chawla, previously skipper on the venerable warship. And this is a very real possibility now. I reported here in August last year that the navy was seriously exploring the possibility of extending the Viraat's life even further than already planned. She was supposed to down anchor for the last time at the very latest by 2013. I took the first photo above in Kochi in 2009 when the Viraat was under a comprehensive refit programme. The second picture shows a seriously clunky scale model of the Viraat that will be the centrepiece of the navy's tableau at the Republic Day parade this year. Tells you a bit about this fascinating ship. More than half a century old, and the navy still couldn't think of a better centrepiece for the whole "show of strength" carnival next week.

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