Boeing has announced that its High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) has met all the requirements to achieve initial operational capability (IOC) status from the US Navy.

Due to the HAAWC, Boeing P-8A Poseidon can deploy MK 54 torpedoes from close or below its cruising altitude.

Boeing programme manager Dewayne Donley said: “The initial operational capability milestone marks the readiness of HAAWC for fleet introduction for the navy and its international partners.

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

This milestone comes after Boeing was awarded a full-rate production contract in August for the system; squadron training; and the receipt of low-rate initial production units.

The all-weather HAAWC features a kit called modular Air Launch Accessory (ALA) that attaches to a MK 54 torpedo to transform it into a precision-guided glide weapon.

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

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

Further fielding of HAAWC units is slated through 2024, with the possibility of production to continue into the end of this decade under the present contract.

P-8A aircraft has so far gained over 450,000 mishap-free flight-hours to support broad-area, maritime and littoral operations, and carry out humanitarian and search and rescue missions across the globe.

Earlier this month, BMT collaborated with Boeing Defence Australia for SEA1442 Phase 5, a project of the Australian Department of Defence.