The Coast Guard is incrementally upgrading its H-65 series, Dolphin, short range recovery helicopter fleet with new engines, avionics and other capabilities.
The H-65 Dolphin has been in the Coast Guard’s inventory since 1984. Expected to remain in service through 2027, the Coast Guard is upgrading the helicopters with state-of-the-market enhancements that will extend mission capabilities and improve their reliability and maintainability. The conversion and sustainment project adds digital technology, including GPS and inertial navigation, flight control, weather radar and cockpit instruments. Since 2007, the entire fleet has been equipped with new engines that add 40 percent more power and airborne use of force capabilities, re-designating the aircraft MH-65s.
The MH-65 conversion and sustainment project is accomplished in six phases or complementary discrete segments. The Coast Guard upgrades the aircraft at the Aviation Logistics Center, Elizabeth City, N.C., where engineers and technical authorities on the MH-65 product line install, test and evaluate the new equipment. Each segment upgrades and modernizes major components and sub-components and sets a baseline for future upgrades in the helicopters’ mission capabilities. When the final phase of the upgrades is complete, the aircraft will be re-designated as MH-65Es.