EADS gets option to furnish another HC-144A maritime patrol aircraft to Coast Guard

The Coast Guard has exercised a contract option to purchase its 18th HC-144A Ocean Sentry Maritime Patrol Aircraft from EADS North America, the company said Feb. 5.

The option is part of a contract awarded to EADS North America in July 2010 for three aircraft, which also included options for six additional aircraft.

Under the contract, EADS North America already has delivered three HC-144As, the 12th, 13th and 14th for the service, the company said. The 15th aircraft is due for delivery the first half of 2013, while the 16th and 17th will be delivered in early 2014. The 18th aircraft is planned for delivery by the end of 2014.

The remaining options left on the contract, for up to two additional aircraft, can be exercised during 2014, the company said. Coast Guard plans call for acquiring a total of 36 HC-144As.

The HC-144A Ocean Sentry is based on the Airbus Military CN235 tactical airlifter. The aircraft, which can remain airborne for more than 10 hours, performs a wide array of missions, including maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue. The aircraft operates from air stations in Mobile, Ala., Cape Cod, Mass., and Miami.
 
The HC-144A comes equipped with a search radar, electro-optical and infrared cameras, an automatic identification system for data collection from vessels at sea, and a communications suite.

The HC-144A's rear cargo ramp is designed for quick loading and unloading of the Coast Guard's palletized mission system. The mission system can be removed for airlift, cargo, and MEDEVAC missions, freeing up the large cabin for additional transport capacity. The rear ramp can be opened in flight to deploy search-and-rescue equipment.
 

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