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HII authenticates keel for Virginia-class submarine

21st November 2022 - 18:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Photo from the keel authentification ceremony for the future USS Arkansas. (Photo: HII)

The keel authentication marks a key milestone in producing the future hunter-killer submarine.

HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding, on 19 November, authenticated the keel of Virginia-class submarine USS Arkansas (SSN 800).

During the ceremony, welders etched the initials of the boats’ sponsors, the Little Rock Nine, onto metal plates which will remain affixed to the submarine throughout its service.

Shephard Defence Insight notes the Virginia class have a submerged displacement of 7,925t and measures 114.8m in length, has a beam of 10.36m and a draft of 9.3m.

Powered by a GE PWR S9G nuclear reactor and two 40,000hp (29.84MW) turbines, the submarines have an unlimited range and a maximum speed of at least 25kts.

Arkansas is the 27th Virginia-class submarine being built under a teaming agreement with the US’s other submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat.

USN Naval Submarine Forces Commander VAdm William Houston said: ‘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.’

The Arkansas milestone comes after the delivery of USS Montana (SSN 794), the launch of New Jersey (SSN 796) and progress on Massachusetts (SSN 798) earlier this year.

The Shephard News Team


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