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Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft

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

For more photos of the Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft, visit image gallery on Flickr.


The Coast Guard transferred its fourth HC-144B, CGNR 2317, Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft outfitted with both the Ocean Sentry Refresh (OSR) modifications and the Minotaur mission system into the fleet Feb. 19, 2019. In another action, the Coast Guard delivered CGNR 2301, the first of 3 planned HC-144Bs to Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, on Feb. 20, 2019, marking the second air station to support HC-144B operations to date.

The Coast Guard, in partnership with Naval Air Systems Command and Leonardo, came together Oct. 22-25, 2018, to conduct a critical design review on the integration and design for the 19 subsystems that comprise the missionization project for the C27-J Spartan.

Completion of the first C-27J programmed depot maintenance (PDM) cycle was celebrated in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, October 25, 2018.

The Coast Guard on Aug. 29, 2018, awarded a $15.1 million contract to L-3 Communications Integrated Systems to provide the Coast Guard with a C-27J operational flight trainer (OFT), ancillary devices, spare parts and documentation in support of training requirements of C-27J pilots.

The Coast Guard conducted a preliminary design review of the systems engineering status and approaches for the C-27J missionization at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Nov. 6-8, 2017. Naval Air Systems Command is the lead systems integrator for the C-27J missionization.

The HC-27J Asset Project Office (APO) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, took custody of the Coast Guard’s 14th and final C-27J, CGNR 2705, Spartan medium range surveillance aircraft Oct. 19, 2017. All of the service’s C-27Js have now undergone regeneration from storage.

An HC-144 Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft entered Minotaur mission system installation at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Oct. 2, 2017. This is the first aircraft to enter the ALC Minotaur production line and third HC-144 outfitted with Minotaur.

  Program Information                       





The HC-144 Ocean Sentry and the C-27J 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 is the fleet being acquired?

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 can be outfitted with mission system pallets, a roll-on, roll-off suite of electronic equipment that enables the aircrew to compile data from the aircraft's multiple integrated sensors to transmit and receive both classified and unclassified information from other assets including other 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 receiving and missionizing 14 C-27J aircraft that are being transferred from the U.S. Air Force under the direction of the National Defense Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014. The multi-year project is supported by the C-27J Asset Project Office, which was stood up in Elizabeth City, N.C. The APO’s primary mission is to provide a purposeful, sequential plan to incorporate the C-27Js into Coast Guard operations. Specific functionalities of the APO include development of Coast Guard-specific operational and maintenance procedures, training plans, technical manuals, a logistics program and test and evaluation procedures. Airworthiness certifications must be obtained for all aircraft before they can be utilized. As originally delivered, the C-27Js are outfitted with weather radar and communications equipment capable of supporting transport and other Coast Guard missions. Future modifications, including specialized components such as surface search radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors, are planned to enhance the aircraft’s capability to carry out the full range of Coast Guard missions.