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Pictures: The Navy Sold Two Legendary Aircraft Carriers For One Cent Each

USS Kitty Hawk and USS John F. Kennedy Scrap
Image of several old carriers headed to scrap yard.

The Navy has sold off the last vestiges of its conventionally powered aircraft carriers, the USS Kitty Hawk and USS John F. Kennedy.

According to The Drive, the Navy sold the remains for scrap, for one cent each. Both ships had been decommissioned over a decade ago, and despite efforts to put them in museums, they’re headed for the scrapyard.

A report from MyRGV News stated that the International Shipbreaking Ltd./EMR Brownsville got the contract from the Navy to acquire the remains of the ships, and tow them.

“I’ve personally inspected her, so I know she’s in good shape for towing,” International Shipbreaking Ltd. Senior Manager Chris Green told MyRGV. The Kitty Hawk is expected to be towed to Brownsville is a process that will take between 10 and 18 weeks, while the JFK is expected to be towed a few months after that.

“That process can take a short amount of time or it can take up to six months,” he said. “It just really depends on their schedules and sometimes they’re really swamped. … I’d hate to put a timeline on the JFK right now just because of those questions marks,” Green added, per MyRGV.

Green added that while some veterans who had served on the ships had requested the chance to walk them one more time, they haven’t been able to accommodate such requests.

“Unfortunately per contract we’re not allowed to do anything like that,” Green told the site. “We had over 1,500 people call wanting to come see (the Constellation) arrive, and we had planned on doing some type of arrival ceremony and having veterans participate, but the numbers just got too big for our ability to handle… the carriers are special because they touched so many people’s lives,” he said. “I’ve heard a whole lot of stories.”

The Kitty Hawk’s lifespan (see images below) was from 1961 to 2009, while that of the JFK was 1968 to 2007.

“Selling these two ships, which cost relatively huge sums of money to build, for literal pennies may seem shocking, but often the Navy is the one paying millions more to contractors to take decommissioned vessels away for scrapping, which can be a very complex affair,” The Drive said.

USS John F. Kennedy

031111-N-3129C-002
Mayport, Fla. (Nov. 11, 2003) — USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) departs Naval Station Mayport under her own power following a ten month Extended Service Repair Availability (ESRA). During a short at sea period the ship will test numerous systems installed or upgraded while in port. The $300 million maintenance period included renovation of berthing compartments, and new navigational radar system. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Greg Curry. (RELEASED)

 Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. TermLimits

    October 19, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    I continually am stunned that SOME country in the world does not take our abandoned equipment. The US maintains it’s fleet, whether aircraft, tanks, ships, etc as well as any country and I simply don’t understand why these are simply scrapped.
    The retirement of ships is known years in advance, and for the cost of a new ship, how many used ships can be upgraded to modern standards for the same cost, AND be deployed much sooner?
    The Kennedy had a $300mm upgrade in 2003 and was retired in 2009! So it was in great shape, yet no ally wanted it. So France and England build their own, while Japan and Australia have no carriers.
    One would think even if they got 10-20 years out of these ships it would be a wise decision.
    Next on the chopping block are the nuclear power Nimitz call – yes, they will be scrapped too!

  2. Ollie

    December 21, 2021 at 11:05 am

    A very good idea , selling them to Australia , Japan , but a better one would be to sabotage them with hidden explosives and sell them to China

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