US Ohio-class guided missile sub arrives in Middle East

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The US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that a guided missile submarine has arrived in the Middle East. In a post on X late Sunday night along with a picture, the CENTCOM said: “On November 5, 2023, an Ohio-class submarine arrived in the US Central Command area of responsibility.” The post, however, did not say where the picture was captured nor did it reveal the name of the submarine. The US Navy has four Ohio-class guided missile submarines, or SSGNs, which are former ballistic missile subs converted to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles rather than nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, reports CNN.

Each SSGN can carry 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, 50 per cent more than US guided-missile destroyers pack and almost four times what the US Navy’s newest attack subs are armed with. Each Tomahawk can carry up to a 1,000-pound high-explosive warhead. The latest submarine joins a number of other US Navy assets already in the area, including two carrier strike groups and an amphibious ready group, CNN reported. In April, the Navy announced that the USS Florida, one of the two East Coast-based SSGNs, was operating in the Middle East. The announcement came hours after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. Austin told Gallant that the US was committed to deterring “any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this conflict”. He also emphasised the need to protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza.