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.”