The US Navy said on Saturday a nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine was operating in the Middle East in support of the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet.
The USS Florida entered the region on Thursday and began transiting the Suez Canal, Commander Timothy Hawkins said in a statement.
"It is capable of carrying up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles and is deployed to US 5th Fleet to help ensure regional maritime security and stability," Hawkins said.
US arms Australia in counter to China
Last month, the US announced it was also supplying Australia with the submarines, a major step to counter China's ambitions in the Indo-Pacific.
In a joint statement, US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak endorsed plans for the so-called AUKUS project, first announced in 2021, at the US naval base in San Diego, California, principal home port of the US Pacific Fleet.
Under the deal, the United States intends to sell Australia three US Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines in the early 2030s, with an option to buy two more if needed, the joint statement said.