The US Navy has laid the keel for the future USS Arizona (SSN 803) at the General Dynamics Electric Boat Quonset Point site in Rhode Island.
The ceremony was led by US Navy officials and GDEB representatives. Nikki Stratton, a granddaughter of the former seaman Donald Stratton, served as the ship’s sponsor.
Donald Stratton was aboard BB 39, the first vessel to bear Arizona’s name, which sank during the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941.
In 1944, Stratton was reenlisted aboard the USS Stack (DD-406), seeing action in the Philippines, New Guinea, and Japan.
The USS Arizona is the US Navy’s 30th Virginia-class nuclear fast attack submarine.
It is among the first vessels employed with the Block V configuration, giving it advanced stealth surveillance capability in littoral waters and against ground-based targets.
“The boats in this class are the most advanced attack submarines ever designed. Their stealth, firepower, and maneuverability are superior to every other attack submarine force in the world,” US Attack Submarines Program Manager Rear Adm. Jonathan Rucker said.
“Additionally, Arizona will be the first of the Virginia-class equipped with the Virginia Payload Module, enabling the submarine to deliver an even wider variety of capabilities.”
Powered by an S9G reactor, the Arizona has a maximum speed of 25 knots (46 kilometers/28 miles per hour) and can dive more than 800 feet (244 meters).
The submarine will be armed with BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles as its primary weapon.
“Building, operating and maintaining Arizona and other Virginia-class subs is crucial to ensuring the Navy’s ability to project power in an ever-shifting global threat environment, and to maintaining peace and the free operation of our sea lanes,” Rucker emphasized.