The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 15th HC-144A Ocean Sentry Maritime Patrol Aircraft May 31 at the Airbus Military factory in Seville, Spain. Upon its arrival in the United States, the Coast Guard will induct the newest Ocean Sentry into the Aviation Configuration Management System at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center, Elizabeth City, N.C.
Later this year, the aircraft will become the third of four HC-144As operating from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.
This delivery marks the fourth of seven Ocean Sentries to be delivered under the current firm fixed-price contract with EADS North America. The three remaining aircraft under contract are scheduled to be delivered in 2014.
The HC-144A is a derivative of the EADS/Airbus Military CN235-300M used around the world. Ocean Sentries are already performing operations from air stations at Mobile, Ala., Miami and Cape Cod. The HC-144A’s cockpit instruments and controls help reduce pilot and aircrew workload and improve the aircrew’s situational awareness in demanding missions, such as search and rescue and law enforcement patrols. Its roll-on and roll-off Mission System Pallet’s tactical communications and contact monitoring workstations enable Coast Guard operators to collect, manipulate and securely transmit information to operational commanders hundreds of miles from the aircraft. The HC-144A also provides greater mission flexibility with a rear ramp that allows crews to re-configure the aircraft from maritime patrol to medical evacuation or to passenger and freight transport.
With an endurance of more than 10 hours, this versatile aircraft enables the Coast Guard to fulfill its maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions more effectively.
For more information on the HC-144A, please visit the project’s website at http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/MRS.