Agusta MH-68 “Stingray” (2001)

Agusta MH68 “Stingray” In March 2001, an agreement with Agusta Aerospace Corporation was made to lease eight A109E Power helicopters. HITRON Jacksonville faced many new challenges as they converted a civilian corporate helicopter into an armed shipboard deployable aircraft. These aircraft were equipped with the latest radar and Forward Looking Infrared sensor system capable of recording activities on tape to facilitate prosecution.  HITRON armed these helicopters with M-16 5.56mm rifles and M240 7.62mm machine guns for warning shots and self-protection, and the RC50 laser-sighted .50 caliber precision rifle to disable the engines of non-compliant suspect vessels.  They were given the military designation of MH-68A. Night shipboard landings, a first for the Coast Guard and now operational procedure Coast Guard wide, were initiated using the ANVIS-9 Night Vision Goggles integrated with the ANVIS-7 heads-up display (HUD) system, and were the first users in the world to operate the latest generation of these night vision devices. For counter drug operations, HITRON aircrews forward deploy aboard Coast Guard cutters for 30-60 day [...]

Agusta MH-68 “Stingray” (2001)2021-11-23T07:43:13+00:00

Sikorsky HH-60J “ayhawk” (1990)

Sikorsky HH-60J   “Jayhawk” The HH-60J Jayhawk is a medium-range recovery helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. It is a multi-mission aircraft used to perform search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness, and marine environmental protection missions. The United States Coast Guard purchased 42 HH-60Js. They replaced the Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican helicopters that the Coast Guard had used for over 20 years. The HH-60J is similar to the HH-3F in many ways, and the assigned missions are the same. However, the HH-60J has numerous upgrades including a state of the art electronics package. The HH-60J is lighter, faster and the engines have more power.  It does not, however, have the water landing capability that the HH-3F had. The Jayhawk can fly 300 miles offshore, remain on scene 45 minutes, hoist six people on board, and return to its point of origin with a safe fuel reserve. Normal cruising speeds of 135-140 knots can be increased to a "dash" speed of 180 knots when necessary. It will fly comfortably at [...]

Sikorsky HH-60J “ayhawk” (1990)2021-11-23T07:42:25+00:00

Aerospatiale HH-65A/B/C “Dolphin” (1985)

Aerospatiale HH-65A/B/C   “Dolphin” The twin-engine Dolphins operate up to 150 miles off shore and will fly comfortably at 120 knots for three hours. Though normally stationed ashore, the Dolphins can be carried on board medium and high endurance Coast Guard Cutters. The cutters are capable of refueling and supporting the helicopter for the duration of a patrol. The SRR is utilized for Search and Rescue, enforcement of laws and treaties, including drug interdiction, polar ice breaking, marine environmental protection including pollution control, and military readiness. Helicopters carried on Coast Guard cutters greatly enhance surveillance capabilities and mission effectiveness. HH-65As are made of corrosion-resistant, composite-structure materials. A feature of the Dolphin is its computerized flight management system which integrates state-of-the-art communications and navigation equipment. This system provides automatic flight control. Selected search patterns can be flown automatically, freeing the pilot and copilot to concentrate on sighting the search object. All HH-65 helicopters were upgraded and designated MH-65C as of 2008. The MH-65Cs variant reflects the installation of armament and [...]

Aerospatiale HH-65A/B/C “Dolphin” (1985)2021-11-23T07:42:25+00:00

Sikorsky- HH-3F “Pelican” (1967)

Sikorsky- HH-3F   “Pelican” In November 1967 the US Coast Guard procured the first of the HH-3F Pelican Helicopters.   This twin turbine, medium range, amphibious, all weather helicopter extended the Coast Guard offshore search and rescue capabilities.  The HH-3F had a maximum speed of 142 knots with a normal cruise speed of 130 knots and a range of 650 NM. The Coast Guard purchased 40 HH-3F's. The last one was delivered in 1973. The HH-3F was manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft, Division of United Aircraft Corporation, Stratford, Connecticut. The HH-3F was equipped with a single main rotor, twin engines rated at 1500 SHP each, a fully retractable tricycle landing gear, amphibious capabilities, and a hydraulically operated aft ramp that could be opened in flight, on the ground, or on water. The HH-3F was additionally well suited for marine environmental protection, logistic and reconnaissance support, enforcement of laws and treaties, defense readiness and drug interdiction. . A sliding cargo door is located on the right side of the forward end [...]

Sikorsky- HH-3F “Pelican” (1967)2021-11-23T07:42:25+00:00

Sikorsky HH-52A “Seaguard” (1963)

Sikorsky HH-52A “Seaguard” The Sikorsky HH-52A helicopter was developed from a Sikorsky commercial S-62 amphibious helicopter. The S–62 had features that were desired by the Coast Guard. It floated on an amphibious hull, it was turbine powered, had a large main cabin and it was built utilizing proven components..The automatic stabilization system used on the S-62 was a scaled version of the larger S-61 (SH-3). The rotor system came from the S-55 (HO4S), as did most of the drive system which had already proven to be reliable. The assembly was design limited to 730 shaft horsepower. Small jet engines suitable for helicopters were rare and not available at the time.  Sikorsky solved the problem by using a 1230 SHP General Electric T-58-GE-8B engine and derating it. With the extra 500 HP worth of air capacity on the front end density altitude was not an operational problem. A Coast Guard Evaluation Program confirmed the contractor claims for performance and suitability to fill the mission. A contract for the initial quantity [...]

Sikorsky HH-52A “Seaguard” (1963)2021-11-23T07:42:26+00:00

Lockheed HC-130 B/H/J “Hercules” (1959)

Lockheed HC-130 B/H/J   “Hercules” The C-130s have proven to be ideal for the Coast Guard mission. The first airplanes delivered to the Coast Guard were C-130Bs. In 1966 the USCG received another version of the HERCULES, a specially configured EC-130E equipped with calibration equipment for the service's far-flung LORAN stations. In the late sixties and early seventies, the Coast Guard began equipping with the HC-130H, soon after the same version went into service with the USAF. This updated version was obtained to primarily perform search and rescue missions. C-130J aircraft were obtained in 2004 for a logistic support role. They had an enhanced cargo handling system that allowed for rapid conversion from in-floor load tie-downs to rollers for palletized cargo. In 2008 they were upgraded with interoperable mission packages equipping them to function as very effective search and rescue aircraft. HC-130s can exceed 2,600 nautical miles (4,815km) in low-altitude flight with a mission endurance of up to 14 hours. Inertial Navigation Systems (INS), Omega, Loran-C, Global Positioning System [...]

Lockheed HC-130 B/H/J “Hercules” (1959)2021-11-23T07:41:01+00:00

Fairchild C-123B “Provider” (1958)

Fairchild C-123B "Provider" In October of 1953 the Fairchild Aircraft Company was awarded the contract to begin a series production of 293 C-123B aircraft. It had an upswept rear fuselage modified with a hydraulically operated loading ramp. This shape remains the characteristic of most modern military transports to this day.  The C-123B was utilized as a troop carrier, medivac transport, and support missions from short, minimally-prepared landing strips. Operational enhancements continued and the aircraft was used extensively during the Vietnam conflict for a multitude of missions.  The Coast Guard acquired the first of eight C-123B’s from the USAF in June of 1958 for use as logistical transports in support of the expansion and installation of the LORAN C network and other isolated installations. These installations were situated around the globe, many of which were in remote locations. The aircraft operated from Coast Guard Air Stations located at Miami, Florida; Puerto Rico; Barbers Point, Hawaii; Guam; Kodiak, Alaska; and Naples, Italy. They were distinguished from other C-123s by the Coast [...]

Fairchild C-123B “Provider” (1958)2021-11-23T07:41:02+00:00

Martin P5M-1G/2G “ Marlin” (1954)

Martin P5M-1G/2G  “ Marlin” The prototype P5M Marlin was based on the PBM-5 Mariner. The P5M had the same wing but an extensively modified fuselage with a hull that extended the full length of the aircraft. It featured a tall single vertical stabilizer instead of the twin tail fins of the PBM-5 and the horizontal stabilizer featured a strong dihedral. The aircraft featured “hydroflaps” operated by the pilot’s rudder pedals, which could be used as water brakes. The P5M was a pure seaplane. The Navy ordered the P5M into production with changes to the prototype. The hull design was revised; the nose turret was replaced with a radome for an AN/APS -80 search radar; the cockpit was raised; the wing floats were mounted on single wide struts. Martin began a major redesign of the P5M-1 in 1951, producing the P5M-2. The P5M-2 had a distinctive tee tail, with a MAD boom fitted at the junctions of the tailplanes; uprated engines; much greater fuel capacity; the bow chime was lowered [...]

Martin P5M-1G/2G “ Marlin” (1954)2021-11-23T07:41:02+00:00

Martin VC-3A (1953)

Martin VC-3A  The Coast Guard acquired two Martin 4-0-4's in 1952. The Martin 4-0-4 was a pressurized passenger airliner built by the Glenn L. Martin Company. They were initially designated RM-1 but this changed to RM-1Z after their interiors were upgraded. The designation again changed as per a DoD directive to VC-3A. They were given Coast Guard serial numbers 1282 and 1283. Each was stationed at National Airport and served as executive transports for the Commandant and the Secretary of Treasury until April 1967 and then the Secretary of Transportation when the Coast Guard was transferred to the DOT. It had rear ventral stairs and a retractable tricycle landing gear and was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CB16 radial piston engines. It was appointed well and very comfortable to ride in The aircraft were retired in 1969 and turned over to the U.S. Navy who gave them Bureau Numbers 158202 and 158203.

Martin VC-3A (1953)2021-11-23T07:41:02+00:00

Grumman UF-1G/2G (later HU-16E) “Albatross” (1951)

Grumman UF-1G/2G (later HU-16E) "Albatross" The Albatross, known by those who flew it as the “Goat”, proved to be ideal for the Coast Guard. It could operate from both land and water. For take-offs in open sea or short field operations it could be fitted with JATO affixed to each side of the aft fuselage. The external store racks fitted to each wing were used to carry 295 gallon drop tanks. When combined with the fuel capacity of the main tanks and fuel carried in the wing floats a range of over 2100 nautical miles and 14 plus hours in the air, with sufficient fuel reserve, was obtained, making it an excellent search vehicle. AN/APS-31A search radar was fitted in the nose. HF SSB receivers, interrogators, and MF/VHF/UHF direction finding equipment was standard. Sheltered water take-offs and landings at weights up to 32,000 pounds were possible without the use of JATO. Open sea operations were possible under favorable conditions with JATO. With lives at stake, however, there were numerous [...]

Grumman UF-1G/2G (later HU-16E) “Albatross” (1951)2021-11-23T07:41:02+00:00