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The Coast Guard accepted the second newly manufactured MH-60T hull from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation on June 3 at the Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The new hulls are key components in the service life extension program (SLEP) for the existing MH-60T Jayhawk medium range recovery helicopter fleet and will also be used for future MH-60T fleet growth as the Coast Guard transitions to a single platform for rotary wing capability.

The Coast Guard accepted the first newly manufactured MH-60T hull in support of the service life extension program (SLEP) for its Jayhawk fleet on Nov. 30, 2023, at the Sikorsky plant in Troy, Alabama. The hull was delivered on Dec. 9 to the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where the SLEP work will be completed. This followed formal approval in October to move to full rate production in the SLEP and begin Obtain Phase activities for MH-60T fleet growth.

The Coast Guard issued a delivery order with a total value of $25.1 million on Sept. 11, 2023, for three additional new hulls for its MH-60T helicopter fleet under an existing indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract. This action brought the total number of new hulls on order to 45. The September delivery order supports MH-60T fleet growth while the remaining 42 hulls on contract support the service life extension program for the existing fleet.

MH-60T Medium Range Recovery Helicopter

The MH-60T is an all-weather medium range recovery (MRR) helicopter that provides multi-mission capabilities in support of Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security missions. The MRR helicopter supports all statutorily mandated Coast Guard missions with specific emphasis on operations requiring rapid response and extended on-scene rotary wing aviation presence. It also conducts indirect support activities such as training and transportation of cargo and personnel.

The Coast Guard is conducting program activities to extend the service life of the existing MH-60T fleet as well as begin the transition to a rotary wing fleet consisting of all MH-60T aircraft.

Why this program?

Consolidation of the Coast Guard’s rotary wing fleet to a single MH-60T airframe is necessary to mitigate sustainability challenges with the MH-65 short range recovery helicopter and maintain the service’s rotary wing capability until recapitalization in line with the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift program. 

How will the Coast Guard increase and sustain the fleet?

The Coast Guard established a service life extension program (SLEP) in 2017 to extend the service life of the 45 MH-60T aircraft currently in the fleet. These helicopters have been in service since 1990; without the SLEP, 90% of the MH-60T fleet would reach the end of its service life by 2028.

As part of the SLEP, the Coast Guard is replacing the hulls of the legacy airframes with hulls from two sources: retired U.S. Navy H-60 aircraft and newly manufactured hulls procured from the original equipment manufacturer, Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky.

The Navy hulls are being converted to the MH-60T configuration at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Left: Navy hull conversion in progress at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Right: A newly manufactured MH-60T hull being delivered to ALC. U.S. Coast Guard photos.

The program awarded an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contact in January 2021 for the production of new hulls – consisting of three fuselage structure sections: the nose, mid (cabin) and transition – that will be engineered, manufactured and delivered in the MH-60T configuration. Use of new hulls provides an airframe service life of 20,000 flight hours, compared to an average service life of approximately 12,000 flight hours for the previously used Navy hulls.

The remaining conversion activities – including replacement of dynamic components such as rotors and electrical rewiring – for all hulls will also be completed at ALC.

In October 2023, the Coast Guard received approval from the Department of Homeland Security to proceed with acquisition program activities that expand on the original SLEP to include a component for fleet growth.

The MH-60T Acquisition/Sustainment Program is authorized to:  

  • Move to full rate production of newly manufactured hulls as part of the SLEP for the existing MH-60T fleet.  
  • Conduct Obtain Phase activities and execute low-rate initial production of 12 new aircraft that will transition three Coast Guard air stations currently operating with the MH-65 to the MH-60T.  
  • Begin Obtain Phase activities for aircraft that will transition the remaining Coast Guard air stations to the MH-60T from the MH-65.  

The SLEP is now known as Increment 1 of the program. To date, two aircraft have already completed SLEP activities. Delivery of new hulls 2 and 3 is scheduled for mid-2024. During full rate production, which starts with hull 4, deliveries should occur monthly. Forty-five new hulls are currently under contract. 

The first fleet growth phase, known as Increment 2 of the program, will organically produce 36 aircraft to convert eight air stations from MH-65 to MH-60T operations. The program has been authorized to produce the first 12 aircraft for this increment and will seek authorization from DHS to produce the remaining aircraft at a later date. Transition of the first air station under Increment 2 is expected to occur in summer 2024.  

The air stations not transitioned to MH-60Ts under Increment 2 will be converted as part of Increment 3 of the program. The final air station transition is anticipated to occur in the early 2040s. 

The MH-60T Acquisition/Sustainment Program was initially chartered in 2017 to evaluate and implement technical and mechanical solutions for extending MH-60T use through the 2030s. On Oct. 31, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security gave approval to add acquisition program activities to the existing SLEP.

The sustainment effort is being implemented through form, fit and function replacements of the structural hull components, dynamic components such as the rotor, and electrical rewiring. Replacement of the structural hulls will be accomplished either through conversions of retired Navy SH-60F/HH-60H hulls into the MH-60T specification or through the procurement of newly manufactured hulls from the original equipment manufacturer that will be engineered, manufactured and delivered to the Coast Guard in the MH-60T specification.

The acquisition effort will start with the conversion of eight air stations from MH-65 to MH-60T operations through the organic production of 36 aircraft. The program has been authorized to produce the first 12 aircraft for this increment and will seek further authorization from DHS to produce the remaining aircraft.

The existing MH-60T avionics components and software will continue to be used and maintained on the replacement hulls through decommissioning and disposal.


  • Length: 64 feet 10 inches
  • Rotor Diameter: 53 feet 8 inches
  • Height: 17 feet
  • Maximum Weight: 21,884 pounds
  • Cruise Speed: 170 knots
  • Range: 700 nautical miles
  • Service Ceiling: 13,000 feet
  • Endurance: 6.5 hours
  • Crew: four


  • Common avionics architecture system of digital glass cockpit instruments similar to those installed on the Coast Guard’s fixed-wing aircraft
  • Surface search radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors
  • Engines standard with the Department of Defense’s H-60 fleet
  • Five multifunction display screens
  • Sensor and hoist cameras
  • Integrated traffic collision avoidance system
  • 7.62 mm machine gun for firing warning shots and a 7.62 mm shoulder-fired weapon for precise targeting, such as disabling engines on noncompliant go-fast vessels, can be installed
  • Standardized mission system components complementing capabilities and equipment installed on the Coast Guard’s upgraded MH-65 short range recovery helicopter

MRR: In the News


June 28, 2024 - Coast Guard accepts second new hull for MH-60T sustainment program

Jan. 23, 2024 - Coast Guard takes next steps toward all MH-60T helicopter fleet


April 25, 2023 - MH-60T new hull production underway for Coast Guard acquisition/sustainment program


July 27, 2022 - Coast Guard orders 11 new MH-60T hulls

Feb. 4, 2022 - Coast Guard awards wire harness contract for MH-60T sustainment effort


Aug. 20, 2021 - MH-60T Sustainment Program adds one additional hull to IDIQ contract

July 7, 2021 - MH-60T Sustainment program adds five hulls to IDIQ contract

Feb. 17, 2021 - Coast Guard installs first new wire harness kit for MH-60T sustainment effort

Jan. 21, 2021 - Coast Guard awards hull contract as part of MH-60T sustainment effort


March 20, 2018 - MH-60T Service Life Extension Program approved to proceed to next phase


Oct. 2, 2017 - Coast Guard, partner agencies provide aid to Utuado, Puerto Rico, residents


Dec. 12, 2016 - MH-60T Upgrade Program Transitions To Sustainment

Nov. 1, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Completes MH-60T Block 2 Upgrade


Dec. 8, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Takes Delivery Of Final Software Upgrade For MH-60T Helicopter


Feb. 19, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Final Jayhawk Completes Conversion to MH-60T Model


May 29, 2013 - H-60 Conversion Project Marks Significant Milestones, Begins Final MH-60J to MH-60T Transition

Jan. 3, 2013 - The Crew of MH-60T Jayhawk 6006 Conduct a Training Exercise Over Womens Bay July 13, 2012 in Kodiak, Alaska


The Coast Guard completed upgrades to its fleet of MH-60J Jayhawk medium range recovery helicopters in August 2016. Redesignated as MH-60Ts, the upgraded helicopters received new flight instruments and avionics, communications and navigation equipment.

For more information: MH-60T upgrade page