The US Navy awarded a contract to International Shipbreaking Limited of Brownsville, Texas, for the towing, dismantling and recycling of conventionally powered aircraft carriers stricken from service, June 13.
Under the contract, the company will be paid $3 million for the dismantling and recycling of the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CV 64).
This is the third of three contracts for conventional aircraft carrier dismantling. All Star Metals of Brownsville was awarded the first contract on Oct. 22, 2013, which included the towing and dismantling of ex-USS Forrestal (AVT 59). ESCO Marine of Brownsville was awarded the second contract on May 8, 2014, for the scrapping of ex-USS Saratoga (CV 60).
After the initial award of one carrier to each successful offeror, the Navy has the capability of scrapping additional conventionally-powered aircraft carriers over a five-year period under delivery orders competed between the three contractors.
International Shipbreaking will now develop its final tow plan for the Navy’s approval for the tow of Constellation from its current berth at Naval Base Kitsap, Washington, to the company’s facility in Brownsville. The ship is expected to depart Kitsap this summer.
Constellation was the second Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier to be built. She was laid down Sept. 14, 1957, at New York Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn, New York, and was the last U. S. aircraft carrier to be built at a yard outside of Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. The ship was commissioned Oct. 27, 1961. After nearly 42 years of commissioned service, Constellation was decommissioned at the Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego on Aug. 6, 2003. In September 2003, she was towed to the inactive ship maintenance facility in Bremerton to await its eventual disposal.
Press Release, June 18, 2014; Image: Wikimedia