The decommissioned INS Khukri to be developed into a museum at Diu that boasts a memorial for a frigate of the same name that sank in the 1971 war

Published : January 25, 2022 20:51 IST

INS Khukri arrives at Diu.

The corvette, which was part of both the western and eastern fleets, was decommissioned last December after more than 32 years of service.

The recently decommissioned Indian Naval Ship (INS) Khukri will soon be developed into a full-scale museum at Diu, the Union Territory off the southern tip of the Kathiawar Peninsula in southwestern Gujarat.

As a first step, INS Khukri, the lead ship of the Indian Navy’s Khukri class corvettes and fitted with an indigenous surface-to-surface missile, is being officially handed over to the Diu Administration on January 26. The corvette, which was part of both the western and eastern fleets, was decommissioned in a solemn ceremony last December, when the national flag, the naval ensign and the decommissioning pennant were lowered at sunset in the presence of Vice Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, after more than 32 years of service.

INS Khukri, commenced her last journey under tow by Indian naval ships from Visakhapatnam and arrived at Diu on January 14.

Built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, INS Khukri was commissioned in 1989. The decommissioned warship is the second ship of the Indian Navy to carry the name INS Khukri. The first, a blackwood class frigate, was lost during the 1971 India-Pakistan war off the coast of Diu, when, as per government records, the ship sank after it was hit by a torpedo from a Pakistani submarine.

The valiant crew of that ship—17 officers and 177 sailors—have been immortalized in the Khukri Memorial at Diu, where a scaled-down model of the ship is displayed in solemn splendour. In 2019, as part of developing and revitalising the memorial, the Diu administration had approached the Defence Ministry for a decommissioned naval vessel that could be put public display. In a pleasant coincidence, the decommissioning of the second Khukri was just around the corner. This vessel is now being handed over to the Diu administration and will be developed into a full-fledged museu.