The contract to build Robert E. Peary was awarded to National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) of San Diego, California, on 27 January 2004. Her keel was laid down on 12 December 2006. Peary was launched on schedule on 27 October 2007, however the planned christening ceremony had to be delayed because of the local disruption caused by the October 2007 California wildfires. Robert E. Peary was christened on 9 February 2008, sponsored by RAdm. Peary's great-granddaughter, Monroe County, Fl. Circuit Court Judge Peary S. Fowler.