MoD puts decommissioned Vikrant up for auction

MoD puts decommissioned Vikrant up for auction

Once the queen of the country’s seas, INS Vikrant is now to be put up for sale on the e-auction site of the Ministry of Defence.

The disposal bid of the country’s first aircraft-carrier, on an “as is-where is basis”, will open on the e-commerce bidding site on December 18 at noon, before closing at 4 pm on the same day.

Bidders have been asked to deposit a pre-bid and earnest money deposit of Rs 3.1 crore prior to their participation in the auction. The 1943 British-built Royal Navy ship Hermes was inducted into the Indian Navy as INS Vikrant. For 36 years, she regally ruled and guarded the Indian seas till her decommissioning in 1997.

Thereafter, the ship, which played a pivotal role in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, was converted into a museum ship and was docked at Vikrant Jetty Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. The Maharashtra government, after proclaiming that they would make the ship a permanent museum and announcing a revenue model for her upkeep, soon began dropping hints of its inability to support her.

“Till now, we (the Navy) managed her. But now the state government has made it clear that they cannot support her further. So the Ministry of Defence has decided to put her up for auction,” Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command, Vice-Admiral Shekhar Sinha said on Tuesday, on board the INS Viraat.

Sinha said that he was one of the last officers to have sailed aboard the INS Vikrant and that he hopes that the winning bidder would convert her into a museum.

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