HAAWC anti-submarine weapon achieves IOC

By Nick Wilson / November 22, 2022 at 12:28 PM

The Navy has declared initial operational capability for the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability, according to a Tuesday announcement from Boeing, which builds the system.

HAAWC is a modular Air Launch Accessory (ALA) that attaches to a MK 54 torpedo to enable GPS-aided flight, turning the torpedo into a precision-guided glide weapon.

The system enables the P-8A Poseidon aircraft to deploy torpedoes from near or below cruising altitude, allowing the aircraft to strike targets from higher altitudes and greater distances, the release states.

HAAWC is intended to provide the P-8A with greater flexibility by allowing the aircraft to launch torpedoes throughout its full flight envelope and conduct anti-submarine warfare in GPS-aided and GPS-denied environments.

The P-8A was initially intended to focus solely on anti-submarine warfare but the aircraft’s mission set was expanded in 2018 to include anti-surface warfare, disaster response, search and rescue and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

To date, the P-8A fleet has accumulated over 450,000 “mishap-free” flight hours, according to P-8A builder Boeing.

According to Boeing’s release, the Navy will field HAAWC units through 2024, with the possibility of production continuing into 2030 under the current contract.

Budget documents indicate the Navy plans to procure 44 HAAWC systems for a total cost of $8.3 million in fiscal year 2023.