Defenselink NEWS RELEASE

Reference Number: No. 338-95

June 20, 1995




The first of a revolutionary new class of fast attack submarine, the Seawolf will be christened at 11:30 a.m., on Saturday, June 24, 1995, at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut. Seawolf will be christened by Margaret Dalton, wife of Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton. Mrs. Dalton will formally name the ship by breaking a bottle of champagne over the submarine, in the age-old Navy tradition.

Secretary Dalton will be the ceremony's principal speaker. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Boorda, will also speak.

Seawolf is a solitary fish with strong, prominent teeth and projecting tusks that give it a savage look. Two previous ships have borne this name. The first was SS 197 (1939-1944), which hunted Japanese shipping in the Pacific Ocean and earned 13 battle stars during World War II. SS 197 sank 17 enemy ships. The second was SSN 575 (1957-1987), which logged over 13,700 nautical miles without surfacing from August to October 1958, demonstrating to the world the independence and longevity of nuclear-powered submarines. SSN 575 operated with USS Enterprise beginning in April of 1964, as part of the world's first nuclear-powered task force.

Currently, two Seawolf Class submarines have been authorized by Congress for construction. Attack submarines are a vital part of the Navy's "Forward ...From the Sea" doctrine, bringing to bear proven shallow water operational capabilities including mine warfare, covert coastal surveillance and intelligence gathering, operations with special forces, and combat search and rescue. The submarine's ability to strike targets at, below and beyond the water's surface make it a potent asset in the nation's arsenal. Seawolf is also equipped with the Tomahawk cruise missile system for a significant land attack and strike capability.

The ship is 353 feet long, has a beam of 36 feet and displaces approximately 9,137 tons submerged. Seawolf will carry a crew of 12 officers and 121 Sailors.

Media wishing to attend the ceremony should contact Mr. Dan Barrett, General Dynamics Corporation, Electric Boat Division, at (203) 433-8202.