USS South Dakota submarine in the ocean

Features and Specifications
for the SSN 797

Iowa is the 24th of 37 planned Virginia class nuclear submarines. The class construction is a joint effort between Huntington Ingalls Newport News (VA), and General Dynamics Electric Boat (CT), with typically even hull numbers finalizing in Virginia while the odd hull numbers being finalized in Connecticut.

Learn more about what makes Iowa SSN 797 unique as it serves our country over the next 3 decades

woman standing in front of submarine in military uniform

Women Serving in U.S. Navy

While women first started serving onboard submarines back in 2010, each boat has been retro-fitted to accommodate female crew members. IOWA will be the first fast attack submarine specifically designed & built to provide the privacy and accommodations females require. 

SSN 797 is proud to lead the way, providing a greater opportunity for female advancement in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) fields. 

Submarine diagram with cut-aways showing sub interior.

Dimensions & Technology

  • Length: 377 ft.
  • Beam: 34 ft.
  • Displacement (Weight): 7,800 tons (equivalent to 65 blue whales)
  • Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour)
  • Maximum Depth: 800+ ft.
  • Crew: 15 officers, 117 enlisted
  • 4 Torpedo Tubes
  • 2 Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT), each capable of holding 6 vertical-launch Tomahawk missiles that can strike targets over 1,200 miles away.

The SSN 797 submarine is a fast-attack submarine built using the latest technology to allow quiet movement and sensitive sonar to track other subs and warships. Armament:
  • Photonics masts carrying thermal imaging and low-light cameras; replacing the telescope
  • Nuclear reactor which powers the sub for the 30+ year lifespan of the ship
  • Pump jet propulsion for quieter movement

The SSN 797 is currently being built. The Newport News shipyard is building the reactor and power unit while the forward half of the submarine is being built by General Dynamic Electric Boat in Groton, CT. With the expertise of these experienced companies, USS Iowa will continue to be the pride of the Navy and her namesake state.

Want to stay in the loop? Subscribe to email updates.