The weekend saw the christening of the USS Iowa, the US Navy’s latest Virginia-class nuclear submarine manufactured by General Dynamics Electric Boat at their Groton shipyard.
The christening took place in the shipyard’s Virginia-class assembly building in front of an audience of more than 3,000, including Electric Boat shipbuilders, members of the ship’s crew, US Navy personnel, and government officials.
“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.
US Congressman Joe Courtney of Connecticut’s 2nd District authorized the funding for the construction of the Iowa in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. Courtney is a Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Force subcommittee that authorizes submarine construction and industrial base support.
In a statement released by his office, Courtney said the completion of the USS Iowa is an important moment for the Navy.
“Today’s christening of the Iowa marks another pivotal moment for the Virginia-class submarine program,” Courtney said. “This steady cadence is a strong rebuttal to the naysayers and hand-wringers who have been mindlessly second-guessing the productivity and capacity of the U.S. submarine industrial base.”
Courtney also suggested that the continued production of Virginia-class submarines is an important piece of the United States’ strategic role in the trilateral AUKUS security agreement with Australia and Great Britain.
“AUKUS is a commitment that the US Navy will, for the first time since 1958, share nuclear propulsion technology with the great nation of Australia – a trusted ally,” Courtney said.
The christening event was also viewed via livestream at numerous watch parties across the state of Iowa.
The ship’s sponsor is Christie Vilsack, an Iowa educator and advisor with a 50-year career in education and public service.
Iowa is the 24th submarine in the Virginia class, designed for the full range of 21st-century mission requirements. It is the 12th submarine in the class to be delivered by Electric Boat.
The submarine will be the fourth US Navy warship to carry the name Iowa and succeeds the battleship USS Iowa (BB 61), which was commissioned in 1943.
Source : CTNewsJunkie