Add-on kits create high-altitude flying torpedoes for P-8A Poseidon

April 1, 2019

Airborne weapons experts at the Boeing Co. are building add-on kits to create flying torpedoes that can attack submerged enemy submarines from long ranges and from high altitudes. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $9.3 million order to the Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to design and build the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) Air Launch Accessory (ALA). The HAAWC ALA enables the Raytheon MK 54 lightweight torpedo carried aboard the Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon long-range maritime patrol jet to glide through the air from altitudes as high as 30,000 feet, essentially transforming the torpedo into a glide weapon that the P-8A aircraft can release from high altitudes. As the flying torpedo nears the water, it jettisons its wings and tail and takes on its original role as a smart torpedo that can detect, track, and attack enemy submarines autonomously. After shedding its control surfaces, the HAAWC ALA activates a parachute that lowers the torpedo into the water to begin its run toward the target. When launched from 30,000 feet the HAAWC-equipped MK 54 torpedo will glide for seven to 10 minutes before entering the water.

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