Lockheed Martin segment Sikorsky has delivered the first of 45 MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter airframe replacements to the US Coast Guard as part of a $374-million contract signed in 2021.
The 10-year project aims to extend the service life of the coast guard’s existing MH-60T multi-mission, medium-range rotorcraft fleet until the 2040s.
The new airframe, which combines cabin, nose, and related structures into a single assembly, will be pieced together at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, this month.
Remaining airframes under the contract will be handed over at approximately one system per month starting next year.
The first three airframes will be used to validate Sikorky’s production methods and corresponding hull assembly procedures. In October, the US greenlighted the fourth airframe’s full-rate production.
Since its induction in the 1990s, the US Coast Guard’s Jayhawk fleet has flown 730,430 flight hours, completed over 48,300 missions, and saved 11,900 lives.
“The MH-60T is an important part of the execution of many Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, and our Service Life Extension Program is vital in maintaining this capability,” US Coast Guard Acquisitions Program Director Rear Adm. Michael Campbell said.
“Delivery of this first newly manufactured hull by Sikorsky is an important step in this effort.”
“In addition to this partnership with Sikorsky for the new hulls, it is important to note the talented workforce at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, who will be executing the [Service Life Extension Program] work. Their skills make this project possible.”