Keel laying set in Rhode Island for new Navy submarine

By The Associated Press

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) _ The keel of the nation’s 15th Virginia-class attack submarine named for Colorado is being laid at the Rhode Island manufacturing plant for General Dynamics Electric Boat.

The construction milestone is being marked Saturday at the North Kingstown shipyard.

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

She will authenticate the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate.

The initials are welded and the plate is permanently affixed to the ship.

The submarine doesn’t have a traditional keel that runs the length of the ship. It’s built in modules.

Secretary Mabus, senior naval officers and politicians are expected to attend.            

Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News build Virginia-class submarines.

Construction on the Colorado began in 2012. It’s slated to be delivered in 2017.

© The Associated Press/WLNE-TV 2015