Boeing has developed the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) torpedo dropping system for the P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft.
Here's What We Know
The U.S. Navy, which operates the Poseidon, signed a (maximum) $121.4 million contract with Boeing in late summer 2022 to develop the drop system. The HAAWC includes the Mk 54 torpedo and a set of wings called the Air Launch Accessory (ALA). These were borrowed from the AGM-84H/K Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) air-launched cruise missiles.
Guidance is by GPS, but the company says the HAAWC also works in the absence of GPS, using inertial navigation. After launch, the system unfolds its wings and heads toward the target. On approach, a parachute is activated, which slows the torpedo and prevents damage during water contact. By the way, the guidance package is identical to that used in Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs.
The Boeing company noted that the maximum target range is up to 65 km, while the US Navy was satisfied with the index of 32 km. Officially the range is not specified, but the altitude and speed of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft will affect the figure. The launcher weighs 275 kg, and the weight of the Mk 54 torpedo itself is 225 kg.
The U.S. Navy wants to use the improved Mk 24 Mod 1 torpedo, which is under development. It will be equipped with improved sonar and will have updated software. Also, it is already known that the HAAWC will not be compatible with the more powerful Mk 24 Mod 2 torpedoes (also under development) and Mk 54 torpedoes for vertical launch systems.
Either way, the P-8A Poseidon will benefit from the HAAWC. The new system will allow the aircraft to drop torpedoes at cruising altitude, which will greatly improve its anti-submarine capabilities and overall survivability.
Source: The Drive