INDIA. Mumbai: The Indian Navy decommissioned INS Gomati (F 21), a Godavari class guided-missile frigate, which was in service for 34 years, in an elegant and solemn ceremony at Naval Dock Yard in South Mumbai at sunset on Saturday.
Under Captain Sudip Malik’s leadership, the ship was paid off. Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Sigh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Navy Command, the Chief Guest for the ceremony, and some serving and retired past ship’s commanding officers dropped the national flag, naval ensign, and decommissioning pennant at sunset.
The vibrant river Gomti inspired the name of the INS Gomati, which was commissioned on April 16, 1988, at Mazgaon Dock Ltd in Mumbai by then-Defense Minister K C Pant.
INS Gomati, the third of the Godavari class guided-missile frigates, was also the Western Fleet’s oldest warrior when it was decommissioned. INS Gomati’s first incarnation was decommissioned in 1979.
Speaking on occasion, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh noted that the Indian Navy designed Gomati and built-in an Indian shipyard. “These were the first steps toward an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India),” he added.
“The lessons learnt during the construction of this class of ships helped the Navy develop modern ships today,” he added.
The ship took part in various bilateral and international naval exercises as well as Operations Cactus, Parakram, and Rainbow.
She received the prestigious Unit Citation twice in 2007-08 and again in 2019-20 for her amazing spirit and outstanding dedication to national marine security.
The ship’s legacy will be kept alive in an open-air museum being set up on the picturesque banks of the Gomati river in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, where several of her combat systems will be displayed as military and war relics.
The Uttar Pradesh government and the Indian Navy have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the same.
This will motivate the youth in the northern region to join the Navy, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh said, adding that the INS Gomati will be commissioned in a new avatar in the Indian Navy.