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Stealthiest U.S. submarine makes rare appearance in Arabian Sea

Is it a message aimed at China's congress, Russia's war or Iran drones?

The nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine USS West Virginia in the Arabian Sea.   © U.S. Central Command

TOKYO -- Once submerged, a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine typically remains under water for 70 days. Virtually undetectable, the Ohio-class SSBN is the stealthiest submarine in the U.S. Navy fleet.

Unlike the Los Angeles-class or Virginia-class nuclear-powered fast attack submarines that carry conventional weapons and can make port visits around the world, nuclear-missile equipped SSBNs typically do not make public appearances. In the rare case that they do, it is either in U.S. waters or in the ports of America's top ally, the U.K.

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