June 21, 2017 —
The Minotaur prototype HC-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft arrives at Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, June 6, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The Coast Guard’s program to integrate the Minotaur Mission System Suite across the long range surveillance aircraft fleet reached a major milestone with the return of the HC-130J Super Hercules Minotaur prototype to the operational fleet June 6.
Minotaur is mission system architecture that incorporates sensors; radar; and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment and enables aircrews to gather and process surveillance information for transmission to shore and surface operators. Minotaur is government-owned and -operated across multiple Defense and Homeland Security department platforms.
CGNR 2003 is the first aircraft in the Coast Guard fleet outfitted with Minotaur and was delivered to Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina. CGNR 2003 will complete further testing and then join the four HC-130Js operating out of Air Station Elizabeth City that are currently outfitted with the legacy mission system suite.
Meanwhile, Minotaur mission system integration continues in Waco, Texas, where four HC-130Js are currently undergoing conversion. Two aircraft are scheduled to be delivered later this year, with two additional deliveries planned for 2018.
The service has also begun the process of integrating Minotaur into its HC-144 Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft fleet, with delivery of the HC-144B Minotaur prototype scheduled for this summer.
For more information: HC-130J Long Range Surveillance Aircraft program page