US Navy Air-Launched Torpedo Achieves Initial Operational Capability

The US Navy’s air-launched torpedo has achieved initial operational capability (IOC) after completing rigorous trials.

The development was announced by American defense firm Boeing, which manufactures the anti-submarine weapon.

According to program manager Dewayne Donley, achieving IOC reflects the High-Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability’s (HAAWC) readiness for use in missions.

“We’re excited to deliver greater flexibility and capability by way of higher-altitude launches from longer distances than previously possible,” he said.

Boeing will continue with the weapon’s full-rate production, valued at approximately $121 million.

Features and Capabilities

Boeing’s HAAWC consists of a modular air-launch accessory that allows P-8A Poseidon aircraft to deploy MK 54 torpedoes from near its cruising altitude and strike targets at greater distances.

The torpedo enables GPS-aided flight, transforming the torpedo into a precision-guided glide weapon.

An all-weather weapon, it includes a sophisticated data link for retargeting mid-flight, increasing its accuracy.

The HAAWC reportedly provides the P-8A with greater flexibility, especially on anti-submarine warfare missions in GPS-denied environments.

“It’s a major achievement for our team in reaching our goal of establishing a new high ground in anti-submarine warfare,” Boeing vice president Bob Ciesla said.

“We look forward to continuing to work alongside the navy toward the full deployment and operational capability of the system.”

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