HII: Keel laid for US Navy’s Virginia-class sub Oklahoma

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division has laid the keel for Virginia-class attack submarine Oklahoma (SSN 802) being built for the US Navy.


As informed, the vessel’s keel was laid on the company’s shipyard on 2 August. The ship’s sponsor is Mary “Molly” Slavonic, an Oklahoma native. Slavonic has long supported both the state of Oklahoma and the navy.

She worked alongside her husband, former acting Under Secretary of the Navy Greg Slavonic, in building the USS Oklahoma (BB 37) Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to honor the 429 sailors and Marines who died aboard the battleship during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

“I am deeply honored to be the sponsor for Oklahoma, named in honor of my beloved home state,” Slavonic said.

“This milestone marks the beginning of what will be a lifelong bond between my family and Oklahoma, including the incredible shipbuilders constructing her and the brave sailors who will serve aboard this mighty submarine.”

Oklahoma is the 29th Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the first of Block V and the 14th to be delivered by NNS.

“We enjoy participating in Navy traditions like this one because they remind us of the important role we play in our nation’s defense,” NNS President Jennifer Boykin said.

“The nuclear submarines we build help ensure our peace and freedoms, and we take great pride in being a nuclear shipyard.”

“This time-honored tradition celebrates the hard work of thousands of shipbuilders from HII who have been working on Oklahoma, the first Block V Virginia-class submarine,” said Cmdr. Aaron Stutzman, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit.

“This important step brings to life Congress’ charge in our constitution to maintain a Navy. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be Oklahoma’s first commanding officer, training our sailors to work alongside the shipyard community building Oklahoma and to be ready to take the world’s most technologically-advanced submarine to sea.”