Keel laid for US Navy’s Virginia-class attack submarine Arkansas

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division has hosted a keel authentication ceremony for US Navy’s Virginia-class submarine Arkansas (SSN 800).

Photo: HII

As informed, the keel laying for the vessel was held on 19 November. Arkansas is the 27th Virginia-class fast attack submarine being built under the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat.

“With advances in sound silencing, acoustic sensors, and weapons delivery systems, Arkansas will traverse the world’s oceans and seas as an apex predator. Representing our asymmetric advantage in the undersea domain, the Arkansas will have no equal,” said Vice Adm. William Houston, commander, Naval Submarine Forces.

NNS is one of only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines. The advanced capabilities of Virginia-class submarines increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth.

This milestone on Arkansas comes following the delivery of USS Montana (SSN 794), the launch of New Jersey (SSN 796), and continued progress on Massachusetts (SSN 798) at NNS earlier in 2022.

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The vessels are 377 feet (115 meters) long, have a 34-foot (10.3 meter) beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800 feet (244 meters) and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged.

They can accommodate a crew of approximately 136 navy personnel. 

Fast attack submarines are multi-mission platforms designed for anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare.