New Navy sub will be named USS Arkansas

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The Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785) is in place on Newport News Shipbuilding's floating dry dock in preparation for the Sept. 6 christening. The bow flag is about 30 feet in diameter and will be the centerpiece of the christening ceremony.

The Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785) is in place on Newport News Shipbuilding’s floating dry dock in preparation for the Sept. 6 christening. The bow flag is about 30 feet in diameter and will be the centerpiece of the christening ceremony.

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Wednesday that future U.S. Navy submarine SSN 800 will bear the name USS Arkansas.

The submarine will be built under an agreement between General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) and Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (NNS).

The agreement allows both companies to build certain portions of each submarine and then alternate deliveries.  The future USS Arkansas will be delivered by Newport News Shipbuilding.

The new Virginia-class submarine will be the fifth naval vessel to bear the Arkansas name.

According to the Navy, the first was a screw steamer originally named the Tonawanda that served in the American Civil War; the second, commissioned in 1902, was an Arkansas-class monitor with a single gun turret and one of the last monitors of the U.S. Navy. The third Arkansas was one of two Wyoming-class battleships, commissioned in 1912. The last Arkansas one of four Virginia-class nuclear-powered guided missile cruisers, commissioned in 1980 and decommissioned in 1998.

The submarine will begin construction in 2018 and is expected to join the fleet in 2023.