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On March 8, 2023, the Coast Guard celebrated the start of production of new MH-60T hulls at Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. The new hulls will be outfitted with new wiring harnesses and other dynamic components to extend the service life of the medium range recovery helicopter fleet into the 2040s.

The Coast Guard issued a delivery order July 14, 2022, for 11 additional new hulls for its MH-60T helicopter fleet under an existing indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract. This action brings the total number of new hulls on order to 42.

A contract awarded to Tyonek Machining and Fabrication Jan. 19, 2022, allows for the production of eight wire harness kits for the MH-60T Sustainment Program. This interim contract will enable continued SLEP production until deliveries commence under a future full rate production effort.

MH-60T Sustainment Program

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.


The MH-60T program was chartered in 2017 to evaluate and implement technical and mechanical solutions for extending MH-60T use through the 2030s. 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 program achieved ADE-2A on Aug, 11, 2020, and was approved by the Department of Homeland Security to proceed to the next acquisition phase, the Obtain Phase. Appropriated funds are being used to support the non-recurring engineering and production of 31 new hulls.

The program’s scope is limited to the sustainment of MH-60T operations and does not include the fielding of any new capabilities. 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
  • Standardized mission system components complementing capabilities and equipment installed on the Coast Guard’s upgraded MH-65 short range recovery helicopter

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