Nearly 50 Years of Navy History Is on Its Way to Become Scrap

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The aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, is heading for the scrapyard. The ship, which began its final sea voyage in January, will arrive at a Texas shipbreaking facility in May.

It was once the biggest symbol of American military power in the Indo-Pacific, battle tested from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf and a survivor of a collision with a Soviet submarine.

Photo Courtesy: US Navy

But the glory days of the former USS Kitty Hawk are over, and the retired super carrier is on its final, 16,000-mile journey from Washington State to Texas, where it will be cut up and sold for scrap.

International Shipbreaking Limited of Brownsville, Texas, bought the ship last year for less than a dollar from U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command, which oversees the disposal of retired warships.

The 1,047-foot long, 252-foot wide carrier is too big to go through the Panama Canal, so in the coming months, Kitty Hawk will creep along the South American coastline and up through the Gulf of Mexico to its final destination.

Photo courtesy: navsea.navy.mil.com

USS Kitty Hawk  was launched in 1960 and named after the North Carolina area, where the Wright Brothers first flew a powered airplane. Kitty Hawk served the U.S. Navy for almost 50 years before it was decommissioned in 2009. It was the last U.S. aircraft carrier fueled by oil, a relic of an era before the arrival of nuclear-powered Nimitz-class ships.

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