NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The keel of the nation's 12th Virginia-class attack submarine was has been laid at Newport News Shipbuilding at a ceremony attended by the sub's namesake, former U.S. Sen. John Warner.
The milestone in the submarine's construction was marked Saturday at the shipyard, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The John Warner will be the only Virginia-class submarine to bear the name of a person.
Warner's wife, Jean, is the ship's sponsor. She had her initials welded onto a metal plate during the ceremony, a Navy tradition.
The sub's construction began in April 29. It is slated to be delivered to the Navy in 2015.
The Newport News ceremony included many dignitaries, including Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and other members of the state's congressional delegation.