HC-144A: Ocean Sentry
From The Shield of Freedom, 2006: The HC-144A "Ocean Sentry" is a Maritime Patrol Aircraft produced by the Spanish subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (EADS). First unveiled in 2006, the CN-235A (official USCG designation HC-144A) is currently being produced and delivered to the Coast Guard.
The aircraft were certified as the all-around Coast Guard choice for its Medium Range Surveillance (MRS) Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) by then Commandant Adm. Thomas Collins, in 2003. They are part of the Deepwater program, an extensive acquisition overhaul that touches the entire Coast Guard fleet of operational forces.
The HC-144A will assume Coast Guard medium range surveillance and transport requirements, replacing the HU-25 and some HC-130s. The Ocean Sentry has the capability to perform aerial delivery of search and rescue equipment such as rafts, pumps, and flares, and it can serve as an on-scene commander platform for homeland security missions, since it is outfitted with the IDS Command and Control (C2) System, and the start-of-the-art C4ISR suite of sensors and avionics. The aircraft will be particularly effective at locating targets in a large search area, and vectoring prosecution assets to the targets.
The HC-144As modern C4ISR suite, modular cabin, miserly fuel consumption rate, and short field takeoff and landing capability make it uniquely suited for USCG missions.