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Curtains down on missile destroyer INS Ranjit on May 6

File photo of INS Ranjit

On May 6, a glorious era of INS Ranjit as the frontline missile destroyer of the Indian Navy will come to an end. INS Ranjit, the third of the five Kashin-class destroyers built by erstwhile USSR was commissioned in 1983 and has rendered yeoman service to the Indian Navy for over 36 years.

The ship will now be decommissioned in a solemn ceremony at the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. The ceremony will be attended by personnel who have served onboard INS Ranjit in the past and will also include officers and sailors from the commissioning crew. The Chief Guest for the ceremony will be Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi (retired), Lieutenant Governor Andaman and Nicobar.

INS Ranjit was built at Yard 2203 in the 61 Communards shipyard in the town of Nikolev in present-day Ukraine. The keel of the ship was laid on June 29, 1977, and she was launched on June 16, 1979.

The ship was given its Russian name “Lovkly” which means “Agile”. It was commissioned as INS Ranjit on September 15, 1983, with Captain Vishnu Bhagwat at the helm. The officer went on to serve as the Chief of Naval Staff during 1996-98.

In her maiden sortie, the ship traversed through the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.

Over 36 years, the ship has the distinction of serving in both Western and Eastern seaboard and has been the Flag Ship of both the Western and Eastern Fleets. With a motto of “Sada Rane Jayate" (Ever Victorious in Battle), INS Ranjit has been at the forefront in keeping the nation secure.

The ship participated in a number of national security operations. Some of these include IPKF operations, Operation Talwar during Kargil conflict among others. In 2003, the ship was deployed off Mozambique to provide security cover to the African Union Summit.

The ship was also actively deployed as part of the Navy's relief operations post-2004 Tsunami and cyclone Hud-hud in 2014. In recognition of her service to the nation, the ship was awarded Unit Citation in 2003-04 and 2009-10.

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