INS Viraat remains unsold; another auction likely soon
According to state-owned, e-commerce company, Metal Scrap Trade Corporation Limited (MSTC), another auction will be held to sell the aircraft carrier.Updated: Dec 18, 2019 03:06 IST
Historic aircraft carrier INS Viraat remained unsold after Tuesday’s auction because bids did not meet expectation. The decision to sell INS Viraat for scrap was announced in Parliament, in July.
According to state-owned, e-commerce company, Metal Scrap Trade Corporation Limited (MSTC), another auction will be held to sell the aircraft carrier.
The e-auction of INS Viraat was conducted on Tuesday, between 12pm and 4pm, by MSTC. “We did not get the expected selling price. There will be another auction,” said a source privy to the development.
While clarifying that there was no fixed price , the source said, “There is a confidential price which is expected to be quoted during the e-auction and the computer rejects it [the bid] if it is not desirable.”
Originally commissioned as the HMS Hermes of the British Royal Navy in 1959, INS Viraat holds the Guinness record for being the oldest serving warship in the world and is affectionately known as the ‘Grand Old Lady’.
It entered service with the Indian Navy in 1987 and was decommissioned in 2017 after spending spent nearly 2,250 days at sea and sailing 5,88,288 nautical miles. INS Viraat was deployed for peace-keeping operations off Sri Lanka and during the Kargil War in the 1990s.
Aircraft like Sea Harriers, White Tigers, Seaking 42B, Seaking 42C and Chetak helicopters have operated from the warship. Under the Indian Navy, aircraft have clocked more than 22,034 hours of flying from INS Viraat’s decks.
Prior to the auction on Tuesday, the carrier was made available for inspection at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.
Most of the equipment – including its main machinery and auxiliaries, propellers, weapons and sensors, communication, navigators, lifesaving equipment, motors and boats – have been removed or cannibalized.
Interested bidders were allowed to participate in the e-auction process by paying pre-bid earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs 5.30 crore.