USCG Orders Up to 9 More CN-235/ HC-144A Patrol Planes
Aug 23/10: The U.S. Coast Guard awards EADS North America a $117 million contract for 3 more HC-144A Ocean Sentry Maritime Patrol Aircraft, with additional options for up to 6 more aircraft over the next 4 years. The USCG already operates 10 HC-144As as the Deepwater program’s Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft, and will receive an 11th in 2010. Deliveries under this latest contract will begin in 2011, and current plans call for an eventual total of 36 Ocean Sentries to replace the aging fleet of HU-25 Guardian Falcon jets, whose 4-hour mission endurance contrasts with the twin-turboprop HC-114A’s 9 hours.
The HC-144A is based on Airbus Military’s CN235 MPA, which is in service with a number of countries. The first HC-144A was delivered on Dec 21/06, and achieved initial operational capability in April 2009. Roles include maritime patrol, intelligence/ surveillance/ reconnaissance, cargo and personnel transport, and disaster relief. The plane’s Mission System Pallet (MSP) is a roll-on, roll-off suite of electronic equipment that collects, compiles, interprets and disseminates data from the aircraft’s sensors and electronic surveillance equipment, and is also capable of transmitting and receiving Secret-level information via the Department of Defense’s Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET). EADS.