U.S. Coast Guard orders three more HC-144A MPA
The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded prime contractor EADS North America a $117 million contract for three HC-144A Ocean Sentry Maritime Patrol Aircraft, with options for up to six more aircraft over the next four years.
The Ocean Sentry plays a crucial role in Coast Guard aviation missions that include maritime patrol, intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance, cargo and personnel transport, and disaster relief.
The HC-144A achieved initial operational capability last year, and was since used in a variety of situations, including the Coast Guard’s responses to the Haiti earthquake and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Ocean Sentries have even been used to transport rehabilitated wildlife affected by the spill.
The Coast Guard currently operates ten Ocean Sentries and will receive another later this year. EADS North America will begin deliveries of the aircraft covered by this latest contract award in 2011. Plans call for the Coast Guard to acquire a total fleet of 36 Ocean Sentries. The HC-144A is replacing the Coast Guard’s aging fleet of HU-25 Guardian Falcon jets.
EADS North America will deliver the HC-144A with a search radar, electro-optical and infrared cameras, an Automatic Identification System for data collection from vessels at sea, and a communications suite.