Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made the announcement Wednesday.
The Navy said in a news release that construction of the submarine will begin in 2018 and it's expected to be completed in 2023.
The submarine will be able to attack targets on shore with Tomahawk cruise missiles and can be used for covert, long-term surveillance of land areas and sea-based forces. It can also be used in anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, mine delivery and minefield mapping and to support and deliver special forces.
This will be the fifth naval vessel to be named the USS Arkansas. The most recent USS Arkansas was a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser that was decommissioned in 1998.