Over 36 years, the ship has the distinction of serving in both Western and Eastern seaboards and has been Flag Ship of both the Western and Eastern Fleets
The glorious era of INS Ranjit being the frontline missile destroyer of the Indian Navy is about to end, as the warship is about to be decommissioned on 6 May 2019. INS Ranjit, the third of the five Kashin-class destroyers built by erstwhile USSR was commissioned in 1983 and has rendered yeoman service to the Indian Navy for over 36 years, a statement released by the Indian Navy said on May 3.
According to the statement, the ship will now be decommissioned at a solemn ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. The ceremony will be attended by personnel who have served onboard INS Ranjit in the past and will also include officers and sailors from the commissioning crew. The chief guest for the ceremony would be Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi PVSM AVSM YSM NM VSM ADC (Retd), Lieutenant Governor Andaman & Nicobar.
INS Ranjit was constructed as Yard 2203 in the 61 Communards shipyard in the town of Nikolev in present day Ukraine. The keel of the ship was laid on 29 June 1977 and she was launched on 16 June 1979. The ship was given its Russian name “Lovkly” which means “Agile”. The ship was commissioned as INS Ranjit on 15 September 1983 with Captain Vishnu Bhagwat at the helm. The officer went on to serve as the Chief of Naval Staff during the period 1996 to ‘98. In her maiden sortie, the ship traversed through Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.
Over 36 years, the ship has the distinction of serving in both Western and Eastern seaboards and has been Flag Ship of both the Western and Eastern Fleets. With a motto of Sada Rane Jayate or Ever Victorious in Battle, INS Ranjit has been at the forefront in keeping the nation secure. The ship took part in PASSEX with US Navy in 1991-92, which was a precursor to the Malabar series of exercises with the US Navy.
It also took part in the first INDRA (India-Russia) exercise with the Russian Navy in 2003. The ship also participated in the first ever SAREX with PLA Navy in November 2003. The ship in 2007 took part in the first ever Malabar exercise in the Pacific Ocean as well as the first ever INDRA series of exercises in Russian waters. In addition, the ship participated in a number of operations aimed at keeping the nation secure. Some of these include IPKF operations, Op Talwar during Kargil conflict. In 2003, the ship was deployed off Mozambique to provide security cover to the African Union Summit. The ship was also actively deployed as part of Navy`s relief operations post 2004 Tsunami and cyclone Hud-hud in 2014. In recognition to her service to the nation, the ship was awarded Unit Citation in 2003-04 and 2009-10.
In her glorious service to the nation, the ship has raised and groomed many admirals who even went on to become the Chiefs of Naval Staff. She has been manned by 27 commissions with the last commission taking charge of the ship on 06 June 2017. As the sun sets on 6 May 2019, the Naval Ensign and the Commissioning pennant will be lowered for the last time onboard INS Ranjit, symbolising end of the Ranjit era in the Indian Navy.