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US Navy names two Virginia-class subs after Pearl Harbor battleships

Virginia-class submarine USS Oklahoma
Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has announced it would name its two newest Virginia-class (SSN 774) fast-attack nuclear submarines after the American heroes who perished in the former USS Oklahoma (BB-37) and USS Arizona (BB-39).

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly proclaimed his decision to name the next two submarines, SSN-802 and SSN-803, respectively, on Dec. 23.

“I am honored and humbled to name the next two Virginia-class nuclear fast-attack submarines to be built as the USS Oklahoma (SSN-802) and the USS Arizona (SSN-803),” Modly said. “It is my fondest wish that the citizens of the great states of Arizona and Oklahoma will understand and celebrate our Navy’s desire to memorialize the 1,177 heroes who perished in USS Arizona (BB-39) and the 429 more in USS Oklahoma (BB-37) in Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Generations have visited the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Oahu, Hawaii, comprising the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma and USS Utah memorials, in addition to six officer bungalows, three mooring quays, and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. The memorial commemorates the history of World War II in the Pacific from the events leading to the Dec. 7, 1941, attack to peace and reconciliation, and honors the thousands of Americans who served and died that day.

Future USS Oklahoma and the USS Arizona will be Block V Virginia-class submarines featuring the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), an 84-foot section that provides more than three times the missile strike capacity of the current Virginia-class submarines.

The US Navy has recently awarded General Dynamics a contract worth over $22 billion for the delivery of nine submarines in the class, including Arizona and Oklahoma.