SOURCE: EADS North America

EADS North America

April 01, 2010 11:34 ET

First HC-144A Ocean Sentry in Service at Coast Guard Air Station Miami

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - April 1, 2010) -  Deployment of the U.S. Coast Guard's HC-144A Ocean Sentry has expanded to the world's busiest air/sea rescue unit -- Air Station Miami, Florida -- as the EADS-built multi-mission aircraft continues to demonstrate its capabilities in operational service.

Air Station Miami received its first Ocean Sentry in March, and ultimately will operate five of the twin-engine HC-144As. The second Ocean Sentry is scheduled to arrive later this month, and a third will be transferred in July. Air Station Miami will have its full complement of HC-144As by early 2011.

Miami's first Ocean Sentry initially went operational at Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama, in February 2009. Even before it formally entered service there, the HC-144A had performed its first Coast Guard search and rescue operation, playing a key role in locating a downed U.S. Air Force F-15 pilot from the Gulf of Mexico following a January 2009 mishap.

HC-144As have since been used for a broad range of missions, including recent operations to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, earning the aircraft high marks from Coast Guard officials.

The service dispatched a total of three HC-144As from its Aviation Training Center after the January 12 quake. They operated as mobile communications command centers, while also using their modern sensor systems to collect intelligence on ground operations and conduct critical infrastructure surveys. The versatile aircraft's cargo ramp also allows it to carry cargo and supplies when needed.

In addition, CBS news anchor Katie Couric flew with an HC-144A crew as they gathered real-time video data with GPS coordinates for use by relief crews to organize recovery efforts.

Following its operations in Haiti, Coast Guard officials praised the HC-144 for its advantages over the HU-25 Falcon jets it is replacing -- noting the Ocean Sentry's flexibility to support different missions, considerable fuel savings and easier maintenance.

The Coast Guard has called its Ocean Sentry a successful acquisition program, and underscored the rapid fielding of this medium-range maritime patrol aircraft -- which progressed from developmental testing to key assistance in humanitarian efforts in less than two years.

The HC-144A, provided by EADS' Airbus Military business unit, is the first all-new aircraft delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard as part of a major recapitalization of aging assets. The service has received eight of the 11 Ocean Sentries currently on order, with plans to bring its total inventory to 36 HC-144As through additional buys.

U.S. customer support for these aircraft -- including ground training, technical services and spares -- is provided by Airbus Military North America, an EADS North America Company, at its facility at Mobile Regional Airport in Alabama.

About EADS North America
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

Contact Information

  • Contact: James Darcy
    Director, Corporate Communications
    EADS North America
    Tel: 703-236-3325
    Email Contact