The MH-60T is an all-weather medium range recovery (MRR) helicopter that provides multi-mission capabilities in support of Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard 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 currently completing a Service Life Extension Project (SLEP) to sustain MH-60T Jayhawk fleet operations through the 2030s.
Why this program?
The Coast Guard’s H-60 helicopters have been in service since 1990, and the oldest helicopters in the MH-60T fleet are approaching their 20,000-hour service life limit. An estimated 90 percent of the fleet will reach this limit by fiscal year 2028 without the completion of a SLEP.
The current sustainment program was developed to prevent this capability from being significantly degraded in the future while serving as a bridging strategy until the service is able to obtain a suitable replacement through the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Life Program.
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 USN H-60 aircraft and 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 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.
Structural hull replacement through new hull acquisition.