USS Seawolf (SSN-21)

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USS Seawolf (SSN-21) News Photo 960703-N-00000-001.jpg
USS Seawolf conducting sea trials in 1996.
United States
Awarded9 January 1989
BuilderGeneral Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down25 October 1989
Launched24 June 1995
Commissioned19 July 1997
HomeportNaval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Washington, U.S.
MottoCave Lupum (English: "Beware the Wolf")
Statusin active service
BadgeUSS Seawolf (SSN-21) crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type Seawolf-class submarine
Length353 ft (108 m)
Beam40 ft (12 m)
Draft36 ft (11 m)
  • 1 S6W PWR 57,000 shp (43 MW), HEU 93.5%[1][2]
  • 1 secondary propulsion submerged motor
  • 1 shaft
  • 1 pump-jet propeller
Speed25+ knots submerged, 18+ knots surfaced
Test depthGreater than 800 ft (240 m)
Complement15 officers and 101 enlisted
Armamenteight 26-inch torpedo tubes, 40 torpedoes and missiles, or 100 mines

USS Seawolf (SSN-21), is a nuclear-powered fast attack submarine and the lead ship of her class. She is the fourth submarine of the United States Navy named for the seawolf, a solitary fish with strong, prominent teeth that give it a savage look.


The contract to build Seawolf was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics on 9 January 1989 and her keel was laid down on 25 October 1989. She was launched on 24 June 1995, sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Dalton, and commissioned on 19 July 1997. The 7-year 9-month time period from keel laying to commissioning is the longest for a submarine in the U.S. Navy.

Adding support personnel as well as ship's crew, there are 140 personnel assigned or attached to Seawolf.[3]


A surfaced Seawolf with her crew surveying her surroundings, 1996

Seawolf is featured in a 1998 episode of the documentary Super Structures of the World: Seawolf. The program followed her construction and sea trials.[4]

On 22 July 2007, Seawolf transferred from her previous homeport of Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, to Naval Base Kitsap, Washington.[3]

Seawolf leads USS John C. Stennis and the Japanese destroyer JS Ōnami during an exercise in 2009

In 2015, Seawolf was deployed to the Arctic region for six months.[5][6][7]

In July 2020 Seawolf deployed into the Arctic area of responsibility. She conducted special operations and pulled into multiple European ports.[8] Port calls included HMNB Clyde in Faslane Scotland, and Gibraltar, and briefly in Tromsø, Norway.[9] Seawolf's deployment was the first US Navy deployment during the coronavirus pandemic.


  • Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation (1995–1997)[10][11]
  • Battle Efficiency "E" Ribbon[10]
  • Weapons "W"[10]
  • Navigation Red and Green "N"[10]
  • Supply Blue "E"[10]
  • Personnel "P"[10]
  • Battle Efficiency "E" Ribbon[10]
  • Weapons "W"[10]
  • Navigation Red and Green "N"[10]
  • Supply Blue "E"[10]
  • Engineering Red "E"[10]


  1. ^ Alan Kuperman; Frank von Hippel (10 April 2020). "US study of reactor and fuel types to enable naval reactors to shift from HEU fuel". IPFM Blog.
  2. ^ "Validation of the Use of Low Enriched Uranium as a Replacement for Highly Enriched Uranium in US Submarine Reactors" (PDF). June 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b "USS Seawolf Makes New Home in Pacific Northwest". U.S. Navy News Service. 24 July 2007. NNS070724-15. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Super Structures of the World: Seawolf (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster Inc. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  5. ^ "USS Seawolf Completes Six-Month Arctic Deployment". Navy Live. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  6. ^ Gray, Amanda (27 October 2016). "Seawolf Welcomes New Commanding Officer". Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  7. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: U.S. Navy (10 December 2015). "USS Seawolf (SSN 21) 2015 Army Navy Spirit Spot". YouTube.
  8. ^ "SSN 21 - USS Seawolf". Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  9. ^ U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs (21 August 2020). "USS Seawolf Operates in 6th Fleet" (Press release). Norwegian Sea: U.S. Naval Forces Europe–Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet. Archived from the original on 5 May 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "U.S. Navy Awards – Unit Award Search". Archived from the original on 14 October 2004. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d "OPNAV Notice 1650 / OPNAVNOTE 1650" (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Seawolf". Retrieved 18 February 2022.

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