An Ohio-class submarine has reached its area of responsibility, which encompasses the eastern Mediterranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Gulf of Oman, according to a statement made by the US Central Command on Sunday night.
It was not clear whether the submarine operating in the Middle East carried nuclear ballistic missiles because Ohio-class submarines are both nuclear-powered as well as capable of carrying nuclear warheads, nevertheless some only carry cruise missiles and are designed for deployment with special operations forces.
The submarine’s entry into the area appears to be a component of the same plan that has seen the Pentagon send out two carrier strike groups to prevent Iran and its allies, including the terrorist organization Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, from attacking Israel during its conflict with Hamas.
Four guided missile submarines of the Ohio class, now equipped with 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, are part of the US Navy.
Amid growing tensions with Iran, the United States military declared in April that it had sent an Ohio-class nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine over to the Middle East to “help ensure regional maritime security and stability.”
Two Variants of Ohio-class Submarine
There are two types of Ohio-class vessels: those equipped with guided missiles, such as the Tomahawk cruise missile, and those equipped with nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
Up to 154 Tomahawks having a 1,000-mile range can be carried by four guided-missile submarines of the Ohio class.
Fourteen nuclear-armed submarines are capable of launching up to twenty 4,000-mile ballistic missiles.
The United States last made public news of a submarine visit in July, when the USS Kentucky made a port call in South Korea.
This was the first time an American submarine with nuclear weapons had visited the nation in forty-two years.