Airbus Military has delivered its 13th HC-144A Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft to the US Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard is using the Ocean Sentry to replace its aging fleet of HU-25 Guardian jets and some older HC-130H aircraft. The Ocean Sentry is based on Airbus’s CN235 tactical airlifter, more than 250 of which are operated by 27 countries.
The delivery, which Airbus said came two months ahead of schedule, is the second aircraft turned over under a 2010 contract that calls for a 14th HC-144A to be delivered in mid-2012. The contract also includes options for five additional aircraft, with the Coast Guard already having exercised one of those options. Coast Guard plans call for acquiring a total of 36 Ocean Sentries.
Capable of remaining airborne for more than nine hours, the HC-144A is used for a range of missions including maritime patrol, search and rescue, cargo and personnel transport, disaster relief and ISR.