Arizona (SSN 803) will be the first U.S. Navy warship to carry the name Arizona since the loss of the battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
The 30th ship of the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class fast attack submarines, SSN 803 will be the first Virginia-class submarine equipped with the Virginia Payload Module (VPM). Comprised of four large-diameter, vertical payload tubes in a new hull section inserted into the existing Virginia-class submarine design, the VPM will enable the submarine to deliver a variety of capabilities, including weapons, unmanned undersea vehicles and other undersea payloads.
Nikki Stratton was named ship sponsor of SSN 803 in February 2020 following the passing of her grandfather, Donald Stratton, at the age of 97. A World War II survivor, Donald was stationed on the battleship USS Arizona during the attack and was badly burned. Discharged as a result of his injuries in 1942, he reenlisted in 1944. In accordance with her grandfather's final wish—that no one ever forget the men of the USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor—Nikki accepted the role of ship sponsor without hesitation.
During the keel-laying ceremony, ship sponsor Nikki Stratton will weld her initials onto a steel plate to be permanently mounted in a place of honor on Arizona (SSN 803) once complete.