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MH-65 Short Range Recovery Helicopter

MH-65 over Houston

For more photos of the MH-65 Short Range Recovery Helicopter, visit image gallery on Flickr.

The Coast Guard completed low rate initial production on Dec. 28 and began initial operational test and evaluation on the MH-65E helicopter on Jan. 7, 2019.

The Coast Guard on Aug. 22, 2018, awarded a $15.9 million contract to Airbus Helicopters Inc. to procure three critical airworthy structural components as part of the Service Life Extension Program for the H-65 helicopters.

The Coast Guard transferred its second MH-65E Dolphin short range recovery helicopter to Aviation Training Center (ATC) Mobile, Alabama, Jan. 25, 2017, for use in developing a training curriculum for the new models.

The Coast Guard awarded a $3.7 million contract to Rockwell Collins Inc. for production of 140 automatic flight control system control panels for its MH-65E short range recovery helicopters Dec. 20, 2016.

Program Information                      



The Coast Guard is incrementally upgrading its H-65 series, Dolphin, short range recovery helicopter fleet with new engines, avionics and other capabilities.

Why this program?

The H-65 Dolphin has been in the Coast Guard’s inventory since 1984. Expected to remain in service through 2027, the Coast Guard is upgrading the helicopters with state-of-the-market enhancements that will extend mission capabilities and improve their reliability and maintainability. The conversion and sustainment project adds digital technology, including GPS and inertial navigation, flight control, weather radar and cockpit instruments. Since 2007, the entire fleet has been equipped with new engines that add 40 percent more power and airborne use of force capabilities, redesignating the aircraft MH-65s.

How are the upgrades implemented?

The MH-65 conversion and sustainment project is accomplished in six phases or complementary discrete segments. The Coast Guard upgrades the aircraft at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where engineers and technical authorities on the MH-65 product line install, test and evaluate the new equipment. Each segment upgrades and modernizes major components and sub-components and sets a baseline for future upgrades in the helicopters’ mission capabilities. When the final phase of the upgrades is complete, the aircraft will be redesignated as MH-65Es.