The US Navy has declared initial operational capability for the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC), which will be deployed from P-8A submarine hunting aircraft.
The milestone was announced by the weapon manufacturer Boeing, who said the HAAWC satisfied all requirements for the IOC status.
The all-weather HAAWC enables the Boeing P-8A Poseidon to deploy MK 54 torpedoes from near or below its cruising altitude. HAAWC consists of a modular air launch accessory, or ALA, kit that attaches to a MK 54 torpedo, transforming it into a precision-guided glide weapon.
“The initial operational capability milestone marks the readiness of HAAWC for fleet introduction for the Navy and its international partners,” said Dewayne Donley, program manager. “We’re excited to deliver greater flexibility and capability by way of higher-altitude launches from longer distances than previously possible.”
The milestone follows the award of a full-rate production contract for the system to Boeing in August, squadron training, and the receipt of low-rate initial production units.
“It’s a major achievement for our team in reaching our goal of establishing a new high ground in anti-submarine warfare,” said Bob Ciesla, vice president of Boeing Weapons. “We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Navy toward the full deployment and operational capability of the system.”
Additional fielding of HAAWC units are scheduled through 2024, with the potential for production to continue into 2030 under the current contract.
The long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance P-8A aircraft has amassed more than 450,000 mishap-free flight-hours and is, or will be, in service with the Indian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Republic of Korea Navy and Germany Navy.