Keel laying set in Newport News for new Navy submarine

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — The keel of the nation’s 14th Virginia-class attack submarine named for Washington state is being laid at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The milestone in the submarine’s construction is scheduled to be marked Saturday at the shipyard, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, is the ship’s sponsor.

During the ceremony, the ship’s sponsor authenticates the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. The initials are then welded onto a plate that is permanently affixed to the ship.

The 7,800-ton, 377-foot-long submarine will have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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