The U.S. Navy has completed the sale of two aircraft carriers, the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS John F. Kennedy, to a Texas-based shipping company for a cent each, USA today reported.
Made of high quality metal, ships are a great resource for recycling. From tugs to warships, ships break into pieces after being decommissioned. However, their decomposition is not so easy due to their size and older ships contain dangerous compounds such as mercury, asbestos and sometimes radioactive material. Globally, shipwrecking and recycling is a massive and specialized industry.
The wreck of a decommissioned ship requires it to be transported from the port of decommissioning to a shipwreck facility, which is time consuming and resource intensive. Because the shipowner is also responsible for possible recycling, companies and the U.S. Navy usually pay good money to shipwreck companies to get the job done.
In the case of these veteran warships, the shipwreck company is expected to make decent profits from scrap steel, iron and non-ferrous metals of the ship, USA Today reported, and therefore the U.S. Navy paid nothing but a nominal fee of one cent. The contract was awarded to Brownsville, Texas International Shipbreaking Limited (ISL).
According to his website, the company has the capacity to break down and recycle 30,000 tons of ships each year and has in the past served the Royal Australian Navy in addition to merchant ship owners and the US Navy. ISL has previously smashed carriers like USS Constellation, USS Independence and USS Ranger for the US Navy, local media news site reports.
According to Business Insider, both ships were put into operation in the 1960s. While the USS Kitty Hawk served in the Vietnam War, the USS John F. Kennedy was in operation during the Gulf War in 1991. While the former was decommissioned in 2017, the latter was decommissioned as early as 2009. , but remained in the naval yards since.
Now the company will begin the process of organizing the withdrawal of these aircraft carrierswhich may reach Brownsville in the next 10-18 weeks. The company may also arrange an arrival ceremony and invite veterans who have served on the ship for a last look at the ship. However, visiting the deck is not allowed under the signed contract, the local media company said.