Indian Navy to decommission its 1st destroyer

The Indian Navy will decommission its first destroyer, INS Rajput (D51) at a solemn ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on 21 May 2021.

Indian Navy
Indian Navy
Photo: Indian Navy

INS Rajput, the lead ship of the Kashin-class destroyers built by the former USSR, was commissioned on 04 May 1980 and has been in service with the Indian Navy for over 41 years.

The destroyer was constructed at the 61 Communards Shipyard in Nikolaev (present-day Ukraine) under its original Russian name Nadezhny meaning Hope. The keel of the ship was laid on 11 Sep 1976 and it was launched on 17 Sep 1977.

The ship was commissioned as INS Rajput on 04 May 1980 at Poti, Georgia. Over its four decades of service to the Indian nation, the ship had served in both Western and Eastern Fleets and had 31 commanding officers.

The destroyer participated in several operations aimed at keeping the nation secure. Some of these include Operation Aman off Sri Lanka to assist IPKF, Operation Pawan for patrolling duties off the coast of Sri Lanka, Operation Cactus to resolve hostage situation off the Maldives, and Operation Crowsnest off Lakshadweep. In addition, the ship participated in numerous bilateral and multi-national exercises. It was also the first Indian naval ship to be affiliated with an Indian Army regiment – the Rajput Regiment.