A last-of-its-kind US Navy aircraft carrier is headed to the scrapyard after being sold for a cent

·2 min read
The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk one year before it was decommissioned.
The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk one year before it was decommissioned.US Navy
  • The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk left Washington for a scrapyard in Texas on Saturday.

  • The US Navy previously sold the Kitty Hawk to a shipbreaking company for just one cent.

  • The ship participated in combat operations during the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

The US Navy warship USS Kitty Hawk, the last commissioned conventional-powered aircraft carrier, embarked on its final voyage on Saturday, leaving Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington, to be turned into scrap metal by a shipbreaking company in Brownsville, Texas, the Navy said.

The Navy decommissioned the first-in-class ship in 2009 after 48 years of service, putting the ship in mothballs for over a decade before selling the carrier and the USS John F. Kennedy to International Shipbreaking Limited for just one cent each in October, Insider previously reported.

Because the Kitty Hawk is much too large, at over 280 feet wide and more than 1,000 feet long, to traverse the Panama Canal, the "Battle Cat" will make its final journey to Texas via the Strait of Magellan, a natural passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, The Kitsap Sun reported.

The journey around South America could take it across roughly 16,000 miles and over 130 days to complete, The War Zone reported.

Navy tug boats support the USS Kitty Hawk’s towing in its final transit from a Naval Base in Kitsap, Washington to a ship-breaking facility in Brownsville, Texas.
Navy tugboats supporting the Kitty Hawk's towing from Naval Base Kitsap in Washington to a shipbreaking facility in Brownsville, Texas.Heather Wamsley

Launched in 1960 and commissioned the following year, the Kitty Hawk carried out missions around the world and participated in combat operations in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The ship later served as the only forward-deployed carrier for 10 years.

Notable moments from its many years of service include testing whether U-2 spy planes could be launched from the deck of a carrier; a race riot; and a collision with a Soviet submarine.

The Kitty Hawk was the last commissioned oil-powered US Navy aircraft carrier to be decommissioned. The current fleet is made up entirely of nuclear-powered carriers.

"As hard as life was on this ship, it's part of my history," Corey Urband, who served as a machinist's mate on the Kitty Hawk in the 1990s, told The Kitsap Sun. "While most people were graduating from high school and college, I was 30 feet below the waterline, halfway around the world from home." The former sailor watched from shore as the ship left Bremerton over the weekend.

The aircraft carrier is the last of the Kitty Hawk-class carriers, as the other two ships in the three-ship class were either scrapped or scuttled.

Read the original article on Insider