The Coast Guard accepted delivery of its 14th HC-144A “Ocean Sentry” Maritime Patrol Aircraft, July 23 at 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. Before year’s end the aircraft will become the second of four HC-144As operating from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.
The Coast Guard plans for a fleet of 36 HC-144As. CG-2314 was the last of three Ocean Sentries to be delivered under the base portion of a firm, fixed-price contract with EADS North America. The Coast Guard exercised options for three aircraft within the last year, which will result in the delivery of the 15th Ocean Sentry in 2013, and the 16th and 17th in 2014. Options for up to three additional aircraft may be exercised during the next two years.
The HC-144A is a derivative of the EADS/Airbus Military CN-235 used around the world. Ocean Sentries are already performing operations from Coast Guard air stations at Mobile, Ala., and Miami. The HC-144A cockpit provides superior situational awareness to enhance mission effectiveness. The roll-on and roll-off Mission System Pallet’s tactical communications and contact monitoring workstation enables operators to collect, manipulate and communicate information to operational commanders hundreds of miles from the aircraft. The HC-144A also provides great 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, the aircraft has extensive sensor capabilities and passenger capacity enabling 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.