March 13, 2019 —
An HC-144B Ocean Sentry, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi's newest addition, rests on an airstrip in Corpus Christi, Texas, Feb. 20, 2019. The upgraded aircraft contains improvements that will allow aircrews to gather and process surveillance information that can be transmitted to other platforms and units during flight. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Jessica Wright.
The Coast Guard transferred its fourth HC-144B Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft outfitted with both the Ocean Sentry Refresh (OSR) modifications and the Minotaur mission system into the fleet Feb. 19. Modifications on CGNR 2317 were completed at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The OSR project upgrades the aircraft with a new flight management system, which manages communication control, navigation and equipment monitoring. Upon completion of the OSR upgrades, each aircraft is redesignated as an HC-144B.
Minotaur integrates installed sensors and radar and provides dramatically improved data fusion and information processing and sharing capabilities.
All four upgraded aircraft have been delivered to the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama, where three are currently stationed. A fourth HC-144B Ocean Sentry, CGNR 2301, was transferred to Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, Feb. 20, and replaced one of three HC-144As stationed there. That aircraft was outfitted with OSR and Minotaur in 2018.
Missionization and upgrade of a fifth HC-144 is scheduled for completion by the end of April; the Coast Guard plans to upgrade each of the service’s 18 HC-144s prior to 2022.
For more information: Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft program page and Minotaur program page