INS Rajput: Indian Navy’s First Destroyer To Be Decommissioned After 41 Years of Service

Indian Navy Ship Rajput, Ready to decommission after 41 years of service

INS Rajput, the erstwhile Russian-built ship was commissioned on May 4, 1980. Due to the pandemic, the decommissioning process in Visakhapatnam will be a low-key affair.

On May 21, a glorious era will come to an end with the decommissioning of the first destroyer of the Indian Navy — INS Rajput, the Indian Navy said.

The ship has participated in several operations aimed at keeping the nation secure. Some of these include Operation Aman, off Sri Lanka to assist the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), Operation Pawan for patrolling duties off the coast of Sri Lanka as part of IPKF mission against LTTE between 1987 and 1990.

INS Rajput was commissioned on May 4, 1980.

It also participated in Operation Cactus in 1988 to resolve the hostage situation off the Maldives Coast as the Indian forces rescued the Maldivian president.

It also participated Operation Crowsnest off Lakshadweep.

In addition to these, the ship participated in numerous bilateral and multi-national exercises. The ship was also the first Indian naval ship to be affiliated with an Indian Army’s Rajput Regiment.

INS Rajput, the lead ship of the Kashin-class destroyers built by the erstwhile USSR, was commissioned on May 4, 1980 and has rendered yeoman service to the Indian Navy for over 41 years.

INS Rajput will now be decommissioned at a solemn ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. “Owing to the ongoing Covid pandemic, the ceremony will be a low-key event attended only by in-station officers and sailors with strict observance of Covid protocols,” the Navy statement said.

INS Rajput was constructed in the 61 Communards Shipyard in Nikolaev (present-day Ukraine) under her original Russian name ‘Nadezhny’ meaning ‘Hope’.

The keel of the ship was laid on September 11, 1976, and she was launched on September 17, 1977. The ship was commissioned as INS Rajput on May 4, 1980, at Poti, Georgia by IK Gujral, then Ambassador of India to USSR with Capt Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani as her first Commanding Officer.

Over her four decades of glorious service to the nation, the ship has the distinction of serving in both western and eastern fleets.

With the motto “Raj Karega Rajput” firmly etched in their minds and indomitable spirit, the gallant crew of INS Rajput have remained ever vigilant and always ‘on call’ to protect the maritime interest and sovereignty of the nation.

In her glorious 41 years, the ship had 31 Commanding Officers at her helm with the last CO taking charge of the ship on August 14, 2019. As the sun sets on May 21, the Naval Ensign and the Commissioning Pennant will be hauled down for the last time onboard INS Rajput, symbolising the decommissioning.