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Coast Guard MH-65 program delivers four upgraded Dolphin helicopters

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CGNR 6517 was delivered to Air Station Port Angeles, Washington, Dec. 5, 2020. The Jan. 7, 2021, delivery of CGNR 6594 completed the transition of the air station to the upgraded configuration.


The Coast Guard short range recovery helicopter program within the past month delivered four MH-65E helicopters: three to Air Station Port Angeles, Washington, and one to Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama. With these four upgrades, 14 aircraft have been converted to the “E” configuration, and Air Station Port Angeles becomes the third air station to complete the transition to the upgraded configuration.

The avionics upgrade to the Echo or “E” configuration includes reliability and capability improvements for the Automatic Flight Control System; enhanced digital weather/surface search radar; integration of a robust command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance suite; and modernization of the digital flight deck. In addition to the upgraded search and rescue capabilities, the advanced navigation capabilities will allow pilots to safely maneuver through highly congested, complex air traffic that can be encountered in situations such as disaster response.

At the same time, the Coast Guard is completing Service Life Extension Program activities to replace five major structure components: the nine-degree frame, canopy, center console floor assembly, floorboards and side panels. These mission-critical improvements are designed to extend the service life of the helicopter by 10,000 flight hours.

The Coast Guard is in the process of transitioning all air stations to MH-65E configuration; Air Stations Miami and Houston were previously converted. Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, will be the next to receive the upgraded aircraft and complete its transition. The Coast Guard plans to convert all 98 aircraft to the MH-65E configuration by the end of fiscal year 2024.

For more information: MH-65 program page