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US Coast Guard receives its ninth HC-144B Ocean Sentry surveillance aircraft with Ocean Sentry Refresh modifications.

| 2020

According to information published by the United Coast Guard, on December 16, 2020, the U.S. Coast Guard accepted delivery of its ninth HC-144B Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft outfitted with both the Ocean Sentry Refresh (OSR) modifications and the Minotaur mission system.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 U.S. Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

Modifications to CGNR 2310 were completed at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The aircraft will be based at Coast Guard Air Station Miami. The OSR project upgrades the aircraft with a new flight management system, which manages communication control, navigation and equipment monitoring. After the OSR upgrade is completed, each aircraft is redesignated as an HC-144B. Minotaur integrates installed sensors and radar and provides dramatically improved data fusion as well as information processing and sharing capabilities.

Completion of missionization and upgrade of a 10th HC-144 is scheduled for June 2021. The service plans to upgrade each of the service’s 18 HC-144s by 2024.

The HC-144 Ocean Sentry is a medium-range surveillance aircraft in service with the U.S. Coast Guard. The aircraft is instrumental in providing the capability necessary for the Coast Guard to fulfill its maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions more effectively.

The HC-144 Ocean Sentries are capable of carrying out a wide range of Coast Guard surveillance, search and rescue, and transport missions and can be outfitted with mission system pallets, a roll-on, roll-off suite of electronic equipment that enables the aircrew to compile data from the aircraft's multiple integrated sensors to transmit and receive both classified and unclassified information from other assets including other aircraft, surface vessels and shore facilities.

With multiple voice and data communications capabilities and satellite communications, the HC-144 is contributing, via a networked Command and Control system, to the common tactical picture and common operating picture. The aircraft is also equipped with a vessel automatic identification system, direction finding equipment, an electro-optical/infrared system and a multi-mode search radar to improve the Ocean Sentry’s situational awareness and responsiveness.

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