EADS North America awarded U.S. Coast Guard contract for HC-144A Maritime Patrol Aircraft

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 HC-144A is based on the high­ly suc­cess­ful Air­bus Mil­i­tary CN235 tac­ti­cal air­lifter, more than 250 of which are in oper­a­tion by 26 countries. 

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 has since dis­tin­guished itself with excep­tion­al per­for­mance 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 men and women of the Coast Guard have an incred­i­bly wide-rang­ing and chal­leng­ing mis­sion, and we’re proud to pro­vide them with an air­craft that match­es their flex­i­bil­i­ty and readi­ness,” said Ralph D. Cros­by Jr., EADS North Amer­i­ca Chair­man. “This year we’ve seen the HC-144A test­ed in some very high-pro­file mis­sions, and it has deliv­ered every time.” 

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. A rear ramp allows for easy car­go oper­a­tions, and also accom­mo­dates a roll-on-roll-off mis­sion sys­tems pal­let that the Coast Guard is acquir­ing sep­a­rate­ly for the Ocean Sen­try. The HC-144 offers supe­ri­or range and loi­ter time,allowing it to stay on sta­tion longer dur­ing search and res­cue, patrol or per­sis­tent sur­veil­lance operations. 

The Coast Guard also oper­ates the EADS North Amer­i­ca HH-65C and MH-65C Dol­phin heli­copters. The Dol­phin has a dis­tin­guished ser­vice record with the Coast Guard – includ­ing exten­sive oper­a­tions in the wake of Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na, and again in the Haiti earth­quake and Gulf oil spill respons­es. The service’s Dol­phin heli­copter fleet has been upgrad­ed with new engines and systems/avionics in recap­i­tal­iza­tion pro­grams sup­port­ed by EADS North America. 

About CN235
Able to car­ry up to six met­ric tons of pay­load with a max­i­mum cruise speed of 240 knots (276 mph), the CN235 is able to take off from and land on short, semi-pre­pared run­ways with soft sur­faces thanks to its Short Take Off and Land­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics and the strong land­ing gear with tan­dem low-pres­sure tires. Its excel­lent han­dling qual­i­ties, high maneu­ver­abil­i­ty and fast engine response (from two Gen­er­al Elec­tric GE CT7-9CE‑3,1750 shp) allow safe crit­i­cal oper­a­tions at a very low alti­tude. Out­stand­ing reli­a­bil­i­ty and sup­port­a­bil­i­ty result in high air­craft avail­abil­i­ty and the low­est life cycle cost in its class. The CN235 Mar­itime Patrol Air­craft is in oper­a­tion with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Irish Air Corps and the Civ­il Guard in Spain, among others. 

About EADS North Amer­i­ca
EADS North Amer­i­ca is the North Amer­i­can oper­a­tion of EADS, a glob­al leader in aero­space, defense and relat­ed ser­vices. As a leader in all sec­tors of defense and home­land secu­ri­ty, EADS North Amer­i­ca and its par­ent com­pa­ny, EADS, con­tribute over $11 bil­lion to the U.S. econ­o­my annu­al­ly and sup­port more than 200,000 Amer­i­can jobs through its net­work of sup­pli­ers and ser­vices. Oper­at­ing in 17 states, EADS North Amer­i­ca offers a broad array of advanced solu­tions to its cus­tomers in the com­mer­cial, home­land secu­ri­ty, aero­space and defense markets. 

Source:
EADS North America 

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