The U.S. Coast Guard exercised a contract option today to purchase the service’s 18th HC-144A Ocean Sentry Maritime Patrol Aircraft from EADS North America. The option, worth $39.79 million, is part of a firm fixed-price contract originally awarded in 2010. Delivery of the 18th HC-144A is expected in 2015.
This is the seventh HC-144A purchased under the Coast Guard’s contract with EADS North America. The last remaining option, for up to two aircraft, can be exercised in fiscal year 2014. The Coast Guard has already taken delivery—on budget and ahead of schedule—of the 14th HC-144A. Delivery of the 15th aircraft is expected early this year, and the 16th and 17th aircraft are on schedule for arrival in 2014.
A fixed-wing turbo prop, the HC-144A is a derivative of the EADS/Airbus Military CN-235 used around the world. With an endurance of more than 10 hours as well as extensive sensor capability and passenger capacity, this medium-range surveillance aircraft helps the Coast Guard fulfill its maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions more effectively.
The Coast Guard currently operates HC-144As at three Coast Guard air stations: Mobile, Ala., Miami, and Cape Cod, Mass. A fourth operating site will be established at Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas in 2014.
The Coast Guard plans to acquire up to 36 HC-144As.
For more information: Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft project page