April 25, 2023 —
Sikorsky and Coast Guard team members gather at the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. production facility in Troy, Alabama, March 8, 2023, to mark the start of construction of new MH-60T hulls. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky.
The Coast Guard celebrated the start of new hull production for the MH-60T Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) March 8 at the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. production facility in Troy, Alabama. Delivery of the first new hull is scheduled for September 2023. Hulls two and three are projected to be delivered in March and April 2024.
Forty-two new hulls have been ordered under an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract awarded in January 2021. The total value of orders to date is almost $323 million. Delivery of subsequent hulls is anticipated at approximately one per month.
The Coast Guard medium range recovery aircraft fleet is undergoing the SLEP to sustain the Jayhawk fleet into the 2040s. In addition to replacement of legacy hulls with the new hull components, SLEP activities will include replacement of select critical dynamic components such as main rotor blades and electrical wire harnesses. The work will occur during each aircraft’s regularly scheduled programmed depot-level maintenance period at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The Coast Guard’s H-60 helicopters have been in use since 1990, and two aircraft have already been removed from service due to high operating hours. Without the SLEP, 75% of the current MH-60T fleet will reach their 20,000-hour service life limit by 2028. The MH-60T Acquisition/Sustainment Program was developed not only to prevent the degradation of this capability but also to serve as a bridging strategy until the Coast Guard is able to obtain a suitable replacement through the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Life Program. The MH-60T is used in support of the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions, including search and rescue, drug interdiction and environmental protection.
For more information: MH-60T Acquisition/Sustainment Program page