The Indian Navy will decommission two of its frontline warships on Friday, marking an end to their glorious voyages of protecting the nation’s maritime interests for around 32 years. The two ships — Nishank and Akshay — were among the key naval assets that were at the forefront of several key missions and crucial maritime operations.
The Navy will bid farewell to the two ships at a ceremony in Mumbai, officials said on Wednesday. “Any ship in the Navy is treated as a living entity. Decommissioning is a very formal, yet very emotional ceremony for a ship, her crew and the Navy in general,” said an official. Nishank, the fourth of the Veer-class missile corvette, has been an integral part of the “Killer Squadron” renowned for its heroics in the 1971 war.
Nishank holds the distinction of having operated on both the eastern as well as the western seaboard. The ship, armed with the potent surface-to-surface missile, possessed the capability to strike fear in the heart of the enemy, said another official.
“The journey of Nishank is not over yet. The ship has been earmarked to be displayed as a war relic at a suitable historic location. The ship will continue to motivate our future generations to be part of our glorious past and bright future, showcasing the might of the Indian Navy,” he said.
Akshay is part of the 23rd patrol vessel squadron whose primary role is anti-submarine warfare and coastal patrol. The ship has been operating under the Naval Officer-in-Charge, Maharashtra. With its formidable armament of long-range torpedoes and anti-submarine rockets, the submarine hunter was perennially on patrol, keeping the enemy submarines at bay.
The officials said these ships, during their illustrious careers spanning more than three decades, have been forward deployed on numerous occasions during heightened security situations such as during the Kargil War in 1999, Operation Parakram in 2001 and after the 2017 Uri attack, maintaining a vigil to give a befitting reply against any enemy misadventure.