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Mumbai: INS Viraat, the second aircraft carrier in the Indian naval fleet, will be decommissioned on 6 March, vice admiral Girish Luthra said on Monday in Mumbai.

“INS Viraat is the second centaur class aircraft carrier in service which has spent 30 years in the Indian Navy and before that 27 years in the Royal Navy of UK. After the decommissioning of INS Viraat, we will be short of two aircraft carriers as INS Vikrant has already been decommissioned," the flag officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Naval Command told reporters.

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Earlier known as HMS Hermes, the ship was in the Royal Navy from 1959. In the late 80s, Indian Navy purchased it at the cost of $65 million and was re-commissioned on 12 May, 1987.

It is the longest serving ship in the history, an official communication from the Western Naval Command said. Asked about the future of the ship, Luthra said the decision will be taken by the Union government.

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