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INS Vikrant gets back its ‘original’ 1961 bell

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The INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, was presented with a special gift in the form of its original bell from the first carrier of the same name commissioned in 1961. The bell was given by Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, who recently retired as the Vice Chief of Navy Staff, to the commanding officer of INS Vikrant on March 22.

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The INS Vikrant is expected to exhibit the original bell at the carrier to motivate current and future officers and sailors about the warship’s significant history. In 1961, the bell was installed on the first INS Vikrant carrier after India acquired a British aircraft carrier, HMS Hercules, and renamed it. The original bell was then transferred from the decommissioned carrier, INS Vikrant, to the designated residence of Indian Navy Vice Chief located at Motilal Nehru Marg.

According to Navy officials, bells have traditionally played an important role on warships as they help indicate time to sailors and officers during different duties and emergencies. The previous vice chief decided to return the original bell to INS Vikrant as it would serve a better purpose there, inspiring future sailors and officers about the rich history of the Indian Navy. The bell was on the first INS Vikrant that played a significant role in bombarding Pakistan and blockading Karachi harbour during the 1971 war. The INS Vikrant is presently undergoing trials for the operations of fighter aircraft from its deck and is expected to become fully operational soon with its own aircraft element.

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