A penny for your ship? 2 US aircraft carriers sold for 1 cent each to ship breaker

USS John F. Kennedy
In this handout from the U.S. Navy, the conventionally powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) makes her way into historic Boston Harbor as crew members are in formation on the flight deck to spell-out "JACK IS BACK" May 19, 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo credit Joshua Karsten/U.S. Navy via Getty Images
By , 1080 KRLD

Two United States naval aircraft carriers, the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS John F. Kennedy, have been sold for one penny each.

While that may sound ominous at first, the ships were not sold to be used but instead taken apart as a Texas firm will break them down to make money from the collected scrap metal.

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Both ships served the nation for decades, and the discounted price reflects the fact that the company will profit from selling the ship's metal for scrap, officials said.

Naval Sea Systems Command, the U.S. Navy sub-organization, confirmed the sale of the ships to International Shipbreaking Limited, based in Brownsville, Texas, USA Today reported.

The process of towing and ship-breaking is expensive, and the navy often pays ISL large sums of money to recycle its ships, the Brownsville Herald reported.

Both ships have been in service since the 1960s, rounding out almost 60 years of service. The USS Kitty Hawk was deployed during the Vietnam War, and the USS John F. Kennedy was featured in the Gulf War.

The Kitty Hawk was decommissioned in 2009, while the John F. Kennedy was decommissioned in 2017. Both have been maintained in naval yards since they were taken out of use.

"The contract values reflect that the contracted company will benefit from the subsequent sale of scrap steel, iron, and non-ferrous metal ores," Alan Baribeau, a spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command said, USA Today reported.

The ships will be taken to Brownsville for scraping within the coming months, the Herald reported.

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