Home Americas Navy christens future USS Iowa, Virginia-class fast-attack submarine

Navy christens future USS Iowa, Virginia-class fast-attack submarine

Photo: US Navy

The Navy christened one of its newest Virginia-class fast-attack Block IV submarines, the future USS Iowa (SSN 797), during a 10 am EDT ceremony on Saturday, June 17.

The christening of the future USS Iowa (SSN 797) took place at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut.

In a time-honored Navy tradition, the submarine’s sponsor, Mrs. Christie Vilsack, ceremoniously christened the boat by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

The future USS Iowa (SSN 797) is the fourth US Navy vessel and the first submarine to bear the name in honor of the state. Past vessels associated with Iowa included battleships and a converted merchant ship that never saw active service.

SSN 797, the 24th submarine of its type in the US Navy, is the first attack-class submarine built to accommodate both male and female service members onboard.

The Virginia-class, referred to as the VA-class or 774-class, represents a fleet of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines currently utilized by the US Navy.

The Virginia-class submarines are designed to carry out a wide range of missions in both littoral and deep waters, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, support for special operations forces, intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare.

Originally developed as a more cost-effective alternative to the Cold War-era Seawolf-class attack submarines, they are gradually replacing the aging Los Angeles-class submarines, with 29 of them already decommissioned.