EADS HC-144A “Ocean Sentry”
The Coast Guard selected the HC-144A “Ocean Sentry” to serve as its new medium range multi-purpose surveillance aircraft. In early 2007 the first three were delivered to the Coast Guard Aviation Repair & Supply Center (AR&SC) at Elizabeth City, North Carolina to undergo installation and testing of mission sensor and communication equipment.
The HC-144A was the first major aviation asset to be procured under the Integrated Deepwater System program. The criterion was the acquisition of a capable airframe and to place within it a state-of-the-art embedded command, control, surveillance and reconnaissance system within the larger context of Coast Guard surface, air and information technology mission interoperability.
This aircraft is the replacement for the 21 HU-25 Falcon jets which were retired due to aging and obsolescence issues. The HC-144A can be utilized for search and rescue, illegal drug and immigrant interdiction, marine environmental protection, military readiness operations as well as for cargo and personnel transport. It can operate on short, semi prepared runways with soft surfaces.
The HC-144a’s large cargo cabin and rear ramp enables the aircraft to be mission tailored on short notice. A standardized roll-on/roll-off palletized mission system was developed which facilitates access to a number of on-board systems and a wide variety of sensor capabilities.