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Immediate Release

Navy to Christen Submarine Massachusetts

The Navy will christen one of its newest Virginia-class fast-attack submarines, the future USS Massachusetts (SSN 798), during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, in Newport News, Virginia.

The principal speaker will be the Honorable Erik Raven, Under Secretary of the Navy. Remarks will also be provided by the Honorable Bobby Scott, U.S. Representative, Virginia's 3rd District; Vice Adm. Scott Conn, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements and Capabilities (N9); Ms. Jennifer Boykin, Newport News Shipbuilding President; and Mr. Kevin Graney, president, General Dynamics Electric Boat.

In a time-honored Navy tradition, the submarine's sponsor, Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, will christen the boat by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow. Sandberg is the founder and chair of the Sandberg Goldberg Bernthal Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equal and resilient world through three key initiatives:,, and the Dave Goldberg Scholarship Program.

"The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been influential in our nation's culture and continues to play a prominent role in history, higher education, science, research and technology," said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. "Nearly eight decades later, I am proud to see Massachusetts' legacy continue, this time as a future attack submarine."

The future USS Massachusetts (SSN 798) is the ninth U.S. Navy vessel named in recognition of the state. The first USS Massachusetts was a steamer built in 1845 and acquired by the U.S. War Department in 1847 to use as a transport vessel during the Mexican-American War. Prior to SSN 798, the last USS Massachusetts (BB-59) was commissioned in 1942 as a South Dakota-class fast battleship. It spent most of its career in the Pacific, decommissioning in 1947.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world's littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities — sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. These capabilities allow the submarine force to contribute to regional stability and preservation of future peace while operating everywhere international law allows, so everyone else can too.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. More information about the Virginia-class attack submarines is available online at