General Dynamics Electric Boat Christens Submarine Iowa (SSN 797)

An audience looks at a stage with multiple people sitting on it. One person is standing and speaking. A large screen is behind them with an American flag and other Navy logos, including for the USS Iowa.

GROTON, Conn. (June 17, 2023) - General Dynamics Electric Boat christened the Virginia-class submarine Iowa (SSN 797) today at its shipyard in Groton, Conn. Electric Boat is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

"I am proud of Electric Boat's shipbuilders, and thank them for the skills, capabilities and commitment they bring to their work every day, resulting in this magnificent ship," said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat. "Along with their dedication and hard work, Electric Boat's shipbuilders have a long history of innovation. We invest in cutting-edge tools and technology to deliver advanced capabilities in acoustic superiority, enhanced stealth, innovative weapons and new missions. We are committed to helping the U.S. Navy outpace our adversaries and ensure our nation's continued dominance in the undersea domain."

Christie Vilsack, an Iowa educator and advisor with a 50-year career in education and public service, serves as the ship's sponsor.

"In the name of the United States, I christen thee Iowa. May God Bless her and all who sail in her," she declared before breaking a bottle of sparkling wine from Iowa on the ship's hull to commemorate the christening.

The christening took place in the shipyard's Virginia-class assembly building in front of an audience of more than 3,000 people, including Electric Boat shipbuilders, members of the ship's crew, U.S. Navy personnel and government officials. The event was viewed live at numerous watch parties across the state of Iowa.

The keynote address was delivered by Under Secretary of the Navy Eric Raven.

"The Iowa will join the fleet at a critical time when our nation will need the most capable, most ready, most agile, and most lethal undersea fighting force to strengthen our nation's ability to keep the peace, or restore it, through decisive action," he told the crowd. "Iowa will add next-generation capabilities to our Joint Force. She will also be one of the first specifically designed and built to accommodate female and male service members, a commitment to supporting a culture of inclusion."

Iowa is the 24th submarine in the Virginia class, designed for the full range of 21st-century mission requirements, including anti-submarine and surface ship warfare and special operations support.

Electric Boat and its partner Newport News Shipbuilding share constriction of the Virginia class in a teaming agreement. Iowa is the 12th submarine in the class to be delivered by Electric Boat.

The submarine will be the fourth U.S. Navy warship to carry the name Iowa and succeeds the battleship USS Iowa (BB 61). Commissioned in 1943, the ship transported President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to numerous international conferences before transferring to the Pacific Theatre to support the island-hopping campaigns and the Japanese Surrender at Tokyo Bay. The ship is now a museum vessel at the Port of Los Angeles.

A woman swings a bottle of champagne at the side of a submarine. Two men and a girl watch on. Two signs hang on the side of the platform stating it is the USS Iowa submarine.
A woman holds up a bottle of champagne next to a submarine. Two men clap. Two signs hang on the side of the platform stating it is the USS Iowa submarine.
A woman holds up a bottle of champagne standing on a platform. Two men clap and a girl smiles. A USS Iowa sign hangs on the side of the platform.

A video of the ceremony along with more information on the Iowa is available at

General Dynamics Electric Boat designs, builds, repairs and modernizes nuclear submarines for the U.S. Navy. Headquartered in Groton, Connecticut, the company employs more than 20,500 people. More information about General Dynamics Electric Boat is available at

General Dynamics is a global aerospace and defense company that offers a broad portfolio of products and services in business aviation; ship construction and repair; land combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions; and technology products and services. General Dynamics employs more than 100,000 people worldwide and generated $39.4 billion in revenue in 2022. More information about General Dynamics is available at

General Dynamics Electric Boat Press Release (Original)

Share this post

Want access to exciting job opportunities?

Connect with employers to explore open roles and training programs in submarine manufacturing.

Get Connected