by John MacKay
A former shipmate asked me to build a model USS Arizona, SSN-803 for display at his local Submarine Veterans chapter. Although the Navy has announced a future Block V Virginia Class submarine will be named ‘Arizona,’ the ship has not yet been built and information is kinda sparse about it right now. So, I reached out to the experts on the submarines forum including Tom Dougherty, who pointed me in the right direction for the information that is currently available on the Block V design.
The Block V submarines will have an approximately 70-foot Vertical Payload Module (VPM) inserted amidships, stretching the hull to about 460 feet from the 377 feet of the initial Virginia Class.
For this model, two HobbyBoss USS Virginia kits were needed to construct the longer Block V hull. The turtleback for the VPM was built up with various thicknesses of styrene and the sail was both stretched and increased in height. For more information on the build, please see my build diary ‘Converting HobbyBoss' 1/350 SSN-774 to SSN-803 USS Arizona’ on the ModelWarships.com general forum.