cg9 banner


The Coast Guard’s first fully missionized HC-27J medium range surveillance aircraft completed its inaugural flight Sept. 6, 2023.

Air Station Cape Cod received its second upgraded HC-144B medium range surveillance aircraft on May 10, 2023, with the delivery of CGNR 2314. This is the 15th HC-144 in the Coast Guard fleet to undergo Ocean Sentry Refresh modification and Minotaur mission system integration.

The Coast Guard completed work on CGNR 2318, its 14th HC-144B Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft outfitted with both the Minotaur mission system and Ocean Sentry refresh modifications, Jan. 17, 2023. The aircraft will be the first updated aircraft for Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft

A C-27J used to assist in the Hurricane Harvey efforts


The HC-144 Ocean Sentry and the C-27J Spartan make up the Coast Guard’s medium range surveillance aircraft fleet. These aircraft are instrumental in providing the capability necessary for the Coast Guard to fulfill its maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions more effectively.

Why this program?

The program was established in fiscal year 2002 to expand the Coast Guard’s patrol hour capacity and replace the aging aircraft fleet. The Coast Guard needed greater endurance to remain on-scene longer and track targets for longer periods of time. Improved sensor capability and increased passenger capacity also were identified as necessary for better mission effectiveness.

How are the upgrades implemented?

The medium range surveillance fleet includes 18 HC-144 Ocean Sentries. Ocean Sentries are capable of carrying out a wide range of Coast Guard surveillance, search and rescue and transport missions and are outfitted with Minotaur mission system workstations, which are comprised of an integrated suite of electronic equipment that enables the aircrew to compile data from the aircraft's multiple sensors to transmit and receive both classified and unclassified information from other assets including aircraft, surface vessels and shore facilities. With multiple voice and data communications capabilities and satellite communications, the HC-144 is contributing, via a networked command and control system, to the common tactical picture and common operating picture. The aircraft is also equipped with a vessel automatic identification system, direction-finding equipment, an electro-optical/infrared system and a multi-mode search radar to improve the Ocean Sentry’s situational awareness and responsiveness.

 The Coast Guard is also in the process of missionizing 14 C-27J aircraft that were transferred from the U.S. Air Force under the direction of the National Defense Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014. The multi-year project was supported by the HC-27J Asset Project Office (APO), which was stood up in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Specific functionalities of the APO included development of Coast Guard-specific operational and maintenance procedures, training plans, technical manuals, a logistics program and test and evaluation procedures. Airworthiness certifications were obtained for all aircraft as part of the process.

 As originally delivered, the C-27Js are outfitted with weather radar and communications equipment capable of supporting transport and other Coast Guard missions. Missionization modifications, including integration of specialized components such as surface search radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors, is in the prototype phase and will enhance the aircraft’s capability to carry out the full range of Coast Guard missions.



The Coast Guard has 14 C-27J Spartans in its medium range surveillance aircraft fleet, along with its HC-144 Ocean Sentries, to perform drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response and search and rescue missions. The aircraft’s range, endurance and speed make it a valuable asset in addressing the Coast Guard’s maritime flight-hour gap.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, 13 C-27J aircraft were regenerated from a preserved status at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. A 14th aircraft was transferred to the Coast Guard after formal acceptance by the Air Force in April 2017.

As delivered, the C-27Js are outfitted with weather radar and communications equipment capable of supporting transport and other Coast Guard missions. The Coast Guard worked with Naval Air Systems Command to determine which additional specialized equipment will be installed to enhance and expand the aircraft’s capabilities. The C-27J missionization package is based on the Minotaur mission system architecture that the Coast Guard is implementing across the rest of its fixed-wing fleet. The first Spartan entered the mission system integration process at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, in September 2017. Prototype installation is scheduled for completion in 2022, with testing to follow.

The HC-27J Asset Project Office (APO), at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, oversaw the aircraft regeneration process and conducted many of the acquisition duties, including development of Coast Guard-specific crew duties, procedures, technical manuals, curricula and test and evaluation reporting.

Air Station Sacramento, California, is the first operational unit using C-27Js; it received its sixth and final Spartan May 1, 2017. The remaining aircraft are stationed at the APO or in the mission system integration process.


  • Length: 74 feet 6 inches
  • Wingspan: 94 feet 2 inches
  • Height: 31 feet 8 inches
  • Maximum Weight: 70,000 pounds
  • Cruise Speed: 290 knots true airspeed
  • Range: 2,675 nautical miles
  • Endurance: 12 hours


  • Standardized Minotaur mission system across all Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft (under development)
  • Military communications
  • Multimode radar
  • Large search windows
  • Night vision goggle capabilities


Eighteen HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft are included in the Coast Guard’s medium range surveillance fleet, along with the C-27J Spartans. The fixed-wing, turboprop aircraft has an endurance of more than 10 hours and an extensive sensor capability that helps the Coast Guard fulfill its maritime patrol, drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response and search and rescue missions more effectively.

The Ocean Sentry is particularly effective at locating objects in large search areas and vectoring other military, government and first responders to these locations. The aircraft has the capability to perform aerial delivery of search and rescue equipment such as rafts, pumps and flares. With its sophisticated command and control system, it also can serve as a platform for an on-scene commander during homeland security missions.

The Ocean Sentry features a rear ramp that allows crews to quickly reconfigure the aircraft for varied operations, including command and control, medical evacuation or passenger transport.

The Coast Guard is upgrading its HC-144A fleet to improve mission effectiveness and situational awareness through the Ocean Sentry Refresh project. Each aircraft will receive a new cockpit control and display unit, used in flight management as the primary avionics computer for communication control, navigation and equipment monitoring. Upon completion, each aircraft is redesignated as an HC-144B.

The service is also integrating the Navy’s Minotaur mission system architecture across its fixed-wing aircraft fleet. The Minotaur integration process for the prototype HC-144B began at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, in July 2016. The missionization process is scheduled for completion by 2024.


  • Length: 70 feet 2 inches
  • Wingspan: 84 feet 8 inches
  • Height: 26 feet 10 inches
  • Maximum Weight: 36,380 pounds
  • Cruise Speed: 215 knots true airspeed
  • Range: 2,100 nautical miles
  • Endurance: 10+ hours


  • Standardized Minotaur mission system across all Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft (under development)
  • Glass cockpit instrument panel, autopilot and avionics suite
  • Multimode search radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors
  • Mission data recording and a first responder/law enforcement and maritime communications suite
  • Cruise Speed: 215 knots true airspeed
  • Airborne Automatic Identification System
  • Secure and nonsecure voice and data using satellite communications

MRS: In the News


Sept. 6, 2023 - First missionized Coast Guard HC-27J completes inaugural flight

Jan. 25, 2023 - Coast Guard delivers 14th Minotaur-missionized HC-144 to fleet


Aug. 2, 2022 - Coast Guard accepts delivery of 13th upgraded HC-144B aircraft

May 12, 2022 - Coast Guard delivers 12th Minotaur-missionized HC-144B to fleet

May 9, 2022 - HC-27J Asset Project Office expands mission, changes name


Oct. 25, 2021 - Coast Guard delivers 11th Minotaur-missionized HC-144 to fleet

Sept. 14, 2021 - HC-144 Program awards contract for maintenance training unit in updated configuration

July 22, 2021 - Coast Guard delivers 10th Minotaur-missionized HC-144 to fleet

March 10, 2021 - Coast Guard utilizes C-27J Spartan aircraft for COVID-19 vaccine deliveries on both coasts


Dec. 21, 2020 - Coast Guard delivers ninth Minotaur-missionized HC-144 to fleet

Oct. 8, 2020 - Coast Guard orders new long range command and control aircraft

Sept. 21, 2020 - Coast Guard delivers eighth Minotaur missionized HC-144 to the fleet


Nov. 21, 2019 - Coast Guard delivers Minotaur missionized HC-144 to fleet

Aug. 28, 2019 - Coast Guard awards C-27J contract

March 13, 2019 - Coast Guard delivers missionized HC-144s to fleet


Dec. 20, 2018 - Coast Guard conducts critical design review for C-27J missionization

Dec. 3, 2018 - Coast Guard Completes first programmed depot maintenance for C-27J

Sept. 24, 2018 - Coast Guard awards contract for C-27J simulator

May 9, 2018 - New radar contract announced for Coast Guard C-27Js

May 9, 2018 - Coast Guard awards contract for C-27J aircraft avionics spare parts

March 9, 2018 - Coast Guard awards contract for C-27J radar spares


Oct. 20, 2017 - HC-27J Asset Project Office receives final C-27J Spartan

Oct. 11, 2017 - HC-144 Minotaur installation begins at ALC

Sept. 29, 2017 - Coast Guard transfers first C-27J for missionization work

Sept. 21, 2017 - HC-144s provide post-hurricane communications, damage assessment, cargo transport

Sept. 18, 2017 - C-27J Spartans assist hurricane relief efforts

Aug. 31, 2017 - Coast Guard awards HC-144 missionization equipment contract

Aug. 10, 2017 - Coast Guard facilitates 2017 C-27J Spartan User Group conference

July 28, 2017 - HC-144 Minotaur prototype delivered to fleet

June 30, 2017 - HC-27J Asset Project Office receives 13th C-27J Spartan

June 29, 2017 - New sensors procured for Coast Guard C-27Js

June 26, 2017 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard awards C-27J deicing, auxiliary power unit contracts

June 20, 2017 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard completes C-27J deliveries to Air Station Sacramento

June 7, 2017 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard awards C-27J spares contract

May 16, 2017 - Acquisition update: HC-144 program procures new sensors

May 3, 2017 - Coast Guard awards C-27J support contract

April 25, 2017 - Acquisition update: HC-144 program reaches Ocean Sentry refresh, Minotaur Mission System milestones

April 10, 2017 - Acquisition update: Coast Guard awards C-27J spare parts contract

April 7, 2017 - Coast Guard accepts 12th C-27J Spartan

March 24, 2017 - Acquisition update: C-27J missionization contract awarded

March 7, 2017 - Coast Guard assigns fifth C-27J to Air Station Sacramento

Feb. 15, 2017 - Coast Guard accepts 11th C-27J Spartan


Dec. 15, 2016 - 10th C-27J Spartan Completes Regeneration

Dec. 2, 2016 - Acquisition Update: First C-27J Enters Programmed Depot Maintenance

Nov. 14, 2016 - Acquisition Update: C-27J Program Reaches Production, Missionization Milestones

Nov. 1, 2016 - Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry Transports Pregnant Manatee To Safety

Oct. 19, 2016 - Coast Guard Awards C-27J Spare Parts Contract

Oct. 4, 2016 - Coast Guard Accepts Ninth C-27J Spartan

Aug. 26, 2016 - Eighth C-27J Spartan Completes Regeneration

Aug. 24, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Completes C-27J Missionization System Requirements Review

Aug. 2, 2016 - Coast Guard Conducts HC-144B Minotaur Risk-Reduction Flights

July 14, 2016 - Coast Guard Begins HC-144B Minotaur Prototype Integration

July 6, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Air Station Sacramento Reaches Initial Operational Capability For C-27Js

June 21, 2016 - Seventh C-27J Spartan Completes Regeneration

June 15, 2016 - Coast Guard Assigns Third C-27J To Air Station Sacramento

May 19, 2016 - Sixth Coast Guard C-27J Spartan Completes Regeneration

April 19, 2016 - Coast Guard Orders Regeneration of Four More C-27J Spartans

April 7, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Assigns First C-27J Spartan To Air Station Sacramento

March 31, 2016 - Coast Guard Takes Delivery Of First Painted C-27J

March 15, 2016 - Coast Guard AMTs Master C-27J Propeller Maintenance

Feb. 3, 2016 - Acquisition Update: Fifth Coast Guard C-27J Arrives At APO

Jan. 20, 2016 - HC-27J APO Publishes Spartan Flight Manual


Dec. 18, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Readies Air Station Sacramento For C-27J Operations

Oct.15, 2015 - Fourth Coast Guard C-27J Arrives At APO

Sept. 22, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Continues C-27J Activation Process With Paint Contract

Aug. 20, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Pilots Train To Operate C-27J Aircraft

Aug. 4, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Third Coast Guard C-27J Stationed At APO

July 22, 2015 - Coast Guard Inducts Its First HC-144B Into CG-LIMS

July 1, 2015 - Coast Guard To Hold C-27J Programmed Depot Maintenance Industry Day

June 19, 2015 - Coast Guard Awards C-27J Simulator Training Contract

June 5, 2015 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard To Upgrade Ocean Sentries

May 27, 2015 - Coast Guard C-27J Successfully Delivers Rescue Gear During Training Mission

April 22, 2015 - Coast Guard’s First C-27J Provides Logistic Support In The Field

Jan. 21, 2015 - ATC Mobile First To Use CG-LIMS


Dec. 19, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Second C-27J Joins Coast Guard Fleet

Nov. 14, 2014 - Acquisition Update: First Coast Guard C-27J Arrives At Elizabeth City

Sept. 30, 2014 - Coast Guard Accepts Final HC-144A Ocean Sentry

July 18, 2014 - Acquisition Update: C-27J Asset Project Office Commissioned

March 21, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Accepts 17th HC-144A Ocean Sentry

Jan. 16, 2014 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Accepts 16th HC-144A Ocean Sentry


June 3, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Accepts 15th HC-144A Ocean Sentry

Jan. 30, 2013 - Acquisition Update: New Maritime Patrol Aircraft Starts Operations in Cape Cod, Mass.

Jan. 8, 2013 - Acquisition Update: Option Exercised for 18th Coast Guard HC-144A