The Coast Guard accepted delivery of CGNR 2302, its 10th HC-144B Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft outfitted with both Minotaur mission system and Ocean Sentry refresh modifications. The aircraft was cleared for operations July 16, 2021.
The Coast Guard began HC-130J operations at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, June 11, 2021, with the delivery of CGNR 2008.
The Coast Guard accepted its 15th C-130J Nov. 18, 2020, from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Marietta, Georgia.
Minotaur workstations, like the one shown above on the HC-130J, offer improved integration and presentation of video, flight data and other sensor information.
The Coast Guard is outfitting its new fixed-wing surveillance aircraft fleet with Minotaur mission system architecture. Minotaur incorporates sensors; radar; and command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment and enables aircrews to gather and process surveillance information that can be transmitted to other platforms and units during flight. The system was originally developed by the Navy and is used across multiple Defense and Homeland Security department platforms.
Minotaur integration was driven by obsolescence concerns: the legacy processors could not run the updated systems needed for optimal mission execution. Compared to these, Minotaur offers significant increases in speed and memory capability. The system is open-architecture and government-owned, so the Coast Guard has more control over upgrades and can implement them more affordably. The Coast Guard is also taking advantage of Department of Defense logistics, including maintenance, training and spare parts, to keep life cycle costs down.
The Coast Guard formally decided to integrate Minotaur into the HC-130J and HC-144 fleets in September 2013. Integration of the system into Customs and Border Protection and Navy maritime patrol aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems was already underway at that time.
The Coast Guard has worked with Naval Air Systems Command to develop Minotaur to meet Coast Guard mission requirements, and the Coast Guard’s Minotaur Mission System Integration Lab at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, is leading the development and integration work. Prototype installation for all aircraft began at Patuxent River.
HC-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft
The first aircraft in the Coast Guard fleet outfitted with Minotaur, CGNR 2003, was inducted into the mission system modification process in July 2015 and began test flights in June 2016. CGNR 2003 was delivered to the fleet in June 2017. The aircraft is based out of Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where it is currently used to train new mission system operators. It completed its first search and rescue case with Minotaur Aug. 7, 2017. The Coast Guard oversees Minotaur integration on the aircraft at L3 Technologies Integrated Systems Platform Integration Division in Waco, Texas.
HC-144 Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft
HC-144 Minotaur production is underway at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The first Minotaur HC-144, CGNR 2307, was delivered to the fleet in July 2017; it is now located at Air Station Miami as the first Minotaur-equipped aircraft at that unit. Both the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama, and Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, have their full complement of HC-144Bs equipped with Minotaur. To date, nine HC-144 aircraft have undergone Minotaur integration and received Ocean Sentry Refresh upgrades, which update the aircraft’s avionics.
C-27J Spartan medium range surveillance aircraft
The service is also basing the C-27J missionization package on the Minotaur mission system. The first Spartan entered the missionization process at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in September 2017; completion of the prototype is anticipated by mid-2021.
This view from the Minotaur mission system operator aboard CGNR 2004 shows a vessel in distress following rough weather. CGNR 2004’s crew successfully dropped a radio can to establish communications with the vessel.
Minotaur: In the News
July 22, 2021 - Coast Guard delivers 10th Minotaur-missionized HC-144 to fleet
June 17, 2021 - Coast Guard begins HC-130J operations at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii
Dec. 21, 2020 - Coast Guard delivers ninth Minotaur-missionized HC-144 to fleet
Sept. 21, 2020 - Coast Guard delivers eighth Minotaur missionized HC-144 to the fleet
May 6, 2020 - Coast Guard accepts 14th C-130J aircraft
Sept. 16, 2019 - Final HC-130J with legacy mission system completes Minotaur missionization
July 25, 2019 - Coast Guard acquisition excellence on full display at DHS awards ceremony
July 2, 2019 - Coast Guard accepts 10th missionized HC-130J aircraft
April 29, 2019 - Coast Guard accepts 13th C-130J aircraft
March 28, 2019 - Final HC-130J with legacy mission system inducted into Minotaur missionization
March 13, 2019 - Coast Guard delivers missionized HC-144s to fleet
Feb. 12, 2019 - Coast Guard accepts missionized HC-130J aircraft
Dec. 10, 2018 - Coast Guard accepts delivery of Minotaur missionized HC-130J
Sept. 10, 2018 - Coast Guard releases request for information on HC-130J missionization, upgrades
June 22, 2018 - Coast Guard awards HC-130J Minotaur Mission System Suite retrofit option, accepts separate HC-130J following Minotaur retrofit
May 17, 2018 - Coast Guard delivers latest HC-130J for Minotaur retrofit
April 10, 2018 - Coast Guard accepts second HC-130J outfitted with Minotaur from baseline configuration
March 5, 2018 - Coast Guard delivers HC-130J for Minotaur retrofit
Feb. 7, 2018 - Coast Guard accepts HC-130J following Minotaur retrofit
Jan. 12, 2018 - Coast Guard exercises HC-130J Minotaur installation options
Nov. 7, 2017 - Coast Guard accepts first HC-130J retrofitted with Minotaur under missionization contract
Oct. 11, 2017 - HC-144 Minotaur installation begins at ALC
Sept. 29, 2017 - Coast Guard transfers first C-27J for missionization work
Sept. 27, 2017 - Coast Guard accepts first HC-130J outfitted with Minotaur from baseline configuration
Sept. 20, 2017 - Minotaur aircraft provide imagery, transport cargo and personnel in hurricanes’ aftermath
Aug. 14, 2017 - First Coast Guard Minotaur aircraft conducts search and rescue
July 28, 2017 - HC-144 Minotaur prototype delivered to fleet
July 11, 2017 - Coast Guard exercises option for fourth HC-130J Minotaur retrofit
June 21, 2017 - HC-130J Minotaur prototype delivered to fleet
May 25, 2017 - Second HC-130J enters Minotaur production
April 25, 2017 - HC-144 program reaches Ocean Sentry refresh, Minotaur Mission System milestones
March 30, 2017 - Coast Guard awards HC-130J Minotaur Mission System Suite retrofit option
Dec. 27, 2016 - Coast Guard Awards HC-130J Minotaur Missionization Option
Dec. 12, 2016 - Coast Guard Highlights HC-130J Mission Capabilities At Patuxent River Air Show
Aug. 8, 2016 - Senior Coast Guard Officials Observe Minotaur Demonstration
Aug. 2, 2016 - Coast Guard Conducts HC-144B Minotaur Risk-Reduction Flights
July 20, 2016 - Coast Guard Establishes HC-130J Minotaur Fleet Integration Team
July 14, 2016 - Coast Guard Begins HC-144B Minotaur Prototype Integration
June 21, 2016 - Coast Guard Begins HC-130J Minotaur Prototype In-Flight Testing
Sept. 22, 2015 - Coast Guard Awards Contract For C-130J Missionization With Minotaur
March 13, 2015 - Coast Guard Issues RFP For C-130J Missionization With Minotaur
Minotaur Mission System Fact Sheet