Sikorsky delivers first of 45 MH-60T Jayhawk airframes to US Coast Guard
Sikorsky has delivered the first of 45 replacement MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter airframes to the US Coast Guard. This marks the launch of a 10-year programme to extend the service life of the service’s existing MH-60T fleet and continue its search and rescue (SAR) missions into the 2040s.
This month, the first MH-60T new airframe – consisting of nose, cabin and aft transition structures combined as a single assembly – will be rebuilt at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
ALC has maintained and repaired the Jayhawk helicopter fleet up to the airframe’s maximum operational life limit of 20,000 flight hours. Extending the service life of these helicopters, involves removing all moving components, digital cockpits, mission systems and engines, before rebuilding each aircraft around an all-new airframe.
“We congratulate the Coast Guard ALC for the tremendous work it’s done to keep the Jayhawk fleet operating for decades,” said Paul Lemmo, president, Sikorsky. “Equally, we applaud the Coast Guard aircrews, whose bravery and skill flying these rugged aircraft into extreme conditions over land, lakes and sea have saved thousands of lives.”
The H-60 Jayhawk medium range recovery helicopter fleet has saved more than 11,900 lives during more than 48,300 search and rescue missions since 1990, accumulating more than 730,430 flight hours, according to the Coast Guard.
Rear admiral Michael Campbell, director of Acquisition Programs and program executive officer, US Coast Guard said the MH-60T is an important part of many Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue. The Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) is vital in maintaining this capability, he added.
“Delivery of this first newly manufactured hull by Sikorsky is an important step in this effort,” he continued. “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 SLEP work. Their skills make this project possible.”