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Gov. Stitt announces new USS Oklahoma submarine, named after ship sunk at Pearl Harbor

The Oklahoman

2 min read

Jun 14

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A 2009 file photo of a Virginia-class attack submarine, the same model now under construction that will be named the USS Oklahoma. Gov. Kevin Stitt announced May 28 that for the first time since the battleship USS Oklahoma was sunk by the Japanese in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the Navy will have a vessel in its fleet bearing the state's name. HANDOUT, US NAVY/AFP Via Getty Images



Gov. Kevin Stitt has announced that a new U.S. Navy submarine now under construction will be named the USS Oklahoma.


"Not since the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was sunk by the Japanese when they attacked our naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, has a ship or submarine borne the name Oklahoma,” said retired Navy Adm. Greg Slavonic, now executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs. Slavonic was named by Stitt to be a member of the "commissioning committee" for the new vessel.


The new USS Oklahoma will be a Virginia Class, Fast Attack Nuclear Submarine, which has a crew of 132 sailors and 18 officers. It carries both Tomahawk Missiles and MK-48 torpedoes and has advanced stealth capabilities to make it virtually undetectable in water, according to the governor's announcement.


“The citizens of Oklahoma should take pride in knowing the U.S. Navy decided after 80 years to have another navy vessel named ‘Oklahoma,'" said Slavonic, noting that "429 sailors and Marines lost their lives that fateful day– second most to USS Arizona."


The Virginia-class submarines, also known as the VA-class or 774-class, are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions. They were conceived as a less expensive alternative to the Seawolf-class attack submarines, designed during the Cold War era, and are replacing older Los Angeles-class submarines, 29 of which have already been decommissioned.


The submarine is being built in Groton, Connecticut, and Newport News, Virginia. The traditional keel laying occurred Aug. 2, 2023, and the christening will occur late 2025 or early 2026. After a year of sea trials, the commissioning ceremony, where the U.S. Navy officially accepts the submarine in her fleet, will be in mid-2027. The USS Oklahoma already has a 60-man crew training and overseeing the boat’s construction.


The sub's commander already has been selected. Stitt's announcement said Cmdr. Aaron “Okie Skipper” Stutzman, plans to have crew members visit Oklahoma regularly to embrace the “Okie spirit.”

The Oklahoman

2 min read