AMES, Iowa — Navy Secretary Ray Mabus came to Ames to join Governor Branstad, and Iowa State President Steven Leath in announcing the Navy’s newest submarine would be named the USS Iowa.
“It is my honor,and pleasure, to officially designate our newest nuclear powered fast attack submarine SSN 797 USS Iowa,” said Mabus in a ceremony in the ISU Memorial Union.
The new ship will be a Virginia Class sub, and is not yet built, and may be ready around 2020. Mabus said the Navy has ordered 10 such submarines at a cost each of $2 billion. He said the price for the 10 new boats was $18 billion. It was such a large order the ship builders gave the Navy a break.
“Kind of like those punch cards, buy 9 get one free,” said Mabus.
“I have one of the coolest jobs in the world, I get to name every Navy ship,” said Mabus. “That comes with a few downsides, there are way more requests and suggestions, than there are ships.”
ISU was chosen due to their Naval ROTC program. Iowa has no Navy bases.