14 June 2014

Navy Awards Contract to Dismantle Aircraft Carrier Constellation

WASHINGTON — The Navy competitively awarded a contract June 13 to International Shipbreaking Ltd. of Brownsville, Texas, for the towing, dismantling and recycling of conventionally powered aircraft carriers stricken from service, Naval Sea Systems Command announced in a release of the same date.

Under the contract, the company will be paid $3 million for the dismantling and recycling of the decommissioned aircraft carrier Constellation (CV 64). The price reflects the net price proposed by International Shipbreaking, which considered the estimated proceeds from the sale of the scrap metal to be generated from dismantling.

The Navy continues to own the ship during the dismantling process. The contractor takes ownership of the scrap metal as it is produced and sells the scrap to offset its costs of operations.

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, which included the towing and dismantling of ex-USS Forrestal (AVT 59). ESCO Marine of Brownsville was awarded the second contract on May 8, 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 now will develop its final tow plan for the Navy’s approval for the tow of Constellation from its current berth at Naval Base Kitsap, Wash., to the company’s facility in Brownsville. The ship is expected to depart Kitsap this summer. Navy civilian personnel will be on site full time to monitor the contractor's performance during dismantling of the ship.

Constellation was the second Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier to be built. It was laid down Sept. 14, 1957, at New York Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn, and was the last U.S. aircraft carrier to be built at a yard outside of Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.  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, it was towed to the inactive ship maintenance facility in Bremerton to await its eventual disposal.

Source: sea power magazine. 13 June 2014

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