USS Hawes (FFG 53) set to be recycled after 25 years of service

2020-10-20
USS Hawes (FFG 53) Arrival

The USS Hawes (FFG 53) has arrived at the International Shipbreaking site, in Brownville, Texas, where she will be dismantled and 98% of all her materials will be recycled.

USS Hawes, the first ship in the US Navy to be named after Rear Admiral Richard E. Hawes, has arrived at the Brownsville site from the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where she had been moored since being decommissioned in 2010. The team at International Shipbreaking, part of EMR Metal Recycling, will now carry out the extensive project of dismantling and recycling the former US Navy vessel.

The USS Hawes took part in many operations in her 25-year career, most notably after she was reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 22 in 1998. In 2000, the USS Hawes assisted the USS Cole (DDG-67) when two al-Qaeda terrorists attacked her while she docked for refuelling in the Port of Aden. The terrorists, moored alongside Cole in an inflatable speedboat, detonated an explosive which killed 17 sailors and wounded over 30 more. Hawes along with the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) offered immediate damage control which helped to save Cole. Shortly after, Hawes took part in ‘Operation Determined Response’, in which along with USS Tarawa (LHA-1), USS Anchorage (LDS-36), USS Duluth (LPD-6), USNS Catawba (T-ATF-168) and British frigates HMS Cumberland (F85) and HMS Marlborough (F233), offered further assistance to help repair Cole. In the final years of her service, Hawes carried out counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic, supporting in the seizure of 200 barrels of cocaine in 2009.

This guided missile frigate is armed with one OTO Melara MK 75 76mm/62 calibre naval gun, two MK 32 triple-tube launchers for Mark 46 torpedoes, one Vulcan Phalanx CIWS, four 50-cal machine guns, one MK 13 Mod 4 single-arm launcher for Harpoon anti-ship missiles and SM1-1MR standard anti-ship/air missiles. Hawes also carried two SH-60 LAMPS III helicopters.

Chris Green, Senior Manager at International Shipbreaking Ltd, said:

“We were proud to welcome the USS Hawes (FFG 53) to our Brownsville site on Monday October 19, 2020 where she will be recycled in a safe, respectful and environmentally responsible manner.

“Prior to accepting a ship recycling project, we conduct an assessment to determine what hazardous and regulated materials are on-board, and what recyclable metals are present. From this assessment a plan is formed for abatement and disposal of all waste materials and recycling the ship in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

“Here at International Shipbreaking, we are proud the US Navy continues to trust in us as a responsible green ship recycler.”


The Brownsville site is one of our three shipbreaking facilities on the Gulf of Mexico with two more located in Louisiana and New Orleans. Each have specialist technologies, which enable them to safely, respectfully and responsibly strip and recycle these vast structures with minimal environmental impact.


The project of recycling USS Hawes will be completed by 2nd quarter of 2021 and 98% of the materials removed will be recycled.