The MH-60T is an all-weather medium range recovery helicopter (MRR) equipped for search and rescue missions. The Coast Guard is currently completing strategic maintenance and renovation to sustain MH-60T Jayhawk fleet operations through the mid-2030s.
Why this program?
The Coast Guard’s H-60 helicopters have been in service since 1990, and the first helicopters of the MH-60T fleet will reach the 20,000 hour service life limit in 2023. An estimated 90% of the fleet will reach this limit by fiscal year 2028. Without completion of some form of sustainment program, this capability will be significantly degraded in the years to come.
As a result, the Coast Guard is extending the MH-60T fleet by an additional 10,000 flight hours, aligning operations with the timeline for future fleet recapitalization guided by the Coast Guard’s participation in the Department of Defense’s joint Future Vertical Lift Program. The Coast Guard intends to complete the sustainment on a one-for-one basis as the existing helicopters reach their maximum flight hours, thereby maintaining the fleet’s existing size of 45 helicopters.
How will the Coast Guard sustain the fleet?
The Coast Guard examined several options for extending the service life of its current MH-60T fleet, and is moving forward with a solution to replace the hulls of the legacy airframes. These replacement hulls will come from two sources: retired Navy H-60F and H-60H aircraft or newly manufactured hulls procured from the original equipment manufacturer, Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky.
Navy hull conversion at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. U.S. Coast Guard photos.
The Navy hulls will be converted to the MH-60T configuration at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The program will establish a contract 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 specification. The remaining conversion activities – including replacement of dynamic components such as rotors and electrical rewiring – for all hulls will also be completed at ALC.
Structural hull replacement through new hull acquisition.