The HU-25 Guardian is a medium-range surveillance fixed-wing aircraft. Also referred to as the Coast Guard's "Falcon", the aircraft is a military derivative of the Dassault Falcon 20 business jet, of which more than 500 were built for worldwide use. The HU-25 performs search and rescue, law enforcement such as migrant and drug interdiction, marine environmental protection, and military readiness. The first of 41 HU-25s was delivered in February 1982 and deliveries were complete by December 1983. The HU-25A and HU-25D are 56ft 3in in length (the HU-25C is 57ft 6in), with a wingspan of 53ft 6in and height of 17ft 7in. The service ceiling is 42,000ft, though current avionics restrict operations to 28,000ft and below. Maximum cruise speed at altitude is 420kts, with a maximum operating speed of .855 Mach. Sea-level maximum airspeed is 350kts.
Key features of the Falcon include its dash speed and capable mission sensors. The three models of the HU-25 (-A, -C, and –D) are distinguished by their sensor complement. The HU-25A has an APS-127 surface search radar. The HU-25C has an APG-66 air-to-air/surface search radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, and tactical workstation. The HU-25D has an APS-143B multi-mode radar, EO/IR and tactical workstation. A sensor upgrade program in 2002-03 improved capabilities in HU-25Cs and reconfigured 6 HU-25As into HU-25Ds. An avionics upgrade in 2005-06 upgraded the navigation system with modern equipment common to the HH-65B.
Most of the HU-25s have been decommissioned already, with complete phase-out by 2014. They will be replaced by the HC-144A Ocean Sentry.
BOURNE, Mass. - Members from Air Station Cape Cod pose for a photo with the Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet CG2133 after its last flight, Monday, June 6, 20111. The Falcon’s replacement, the HU-144 Ocean Sentry is due to arrive sometime next year and the CG2133, the first Falcon jet to be retired at the air station, will join the HU-16E Albatross CG7250 on display at the front gate of Air Station Cape Cod as a tribute to Coast Guard aviation's rich past. Coast Guard photo.