00:18 GMT31 October 2020
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    After having served in the UK’s Royal Navy as the HMS Hermes, the vessel was inducted into the Indian Navy back in 1987. In India, the ship was renamed the “Viraat”, which is the Hindi word for “gigantic”. True to its name, the vessel weighs 27,800 tonnes and holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest-serving warship in the world.

    After being decommissioned back in March 2017, the Viraat is cruising for one last time on its way from Mumbai to Alang – a quaint beach town located in India’s Gujrat state that has the biggest ship-breaking yard in the world. In Alang, the veteran aircraft carrier will be dismantled and its parts sold off as scrap.

    ​Retired army personnel, their family members, along with history-enthusiasts, have been bidding teary-eyed farewells to the ship that contributed to the British and Indian forces in several troubled times, like the days of “Operation Jupiter” (1989) and “Parakram” (2001).

    ​Discussions around converting the veteran vehicle into a museum or restaurant did make the rounds in recent years, but neither of those plans worked out.

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