Airframe Delivery Launches Coast Guard’s MH-60T Extension Program

About 90 percent of the service’s Jayhawk helicopter fleet is expected to reach its 20,000-hour maximum operational life limit by fiscal 2028.

The U.S. Coast Guard has received the first of 45 MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter replacement airframes as part of a program to extend the aircraft’s service life into the 2040s, according to Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky.

A workhorse of the Coast Guard, the MH-60T all-weather, medium-range recovery helicopter has been used by the service for rapid-response missions since the 1990s. Its airframe’s maximum operational life limit is 20,000 flight hours.

According to Sikorsky, the Coast Guard’s fleet of 45 MH-60T helicopters is approaching that cap, with an average of 16,000 flight hours per aircraft. 

Nearly the entire fleet—90 percent—is expected to reach the 20,000-hour service limit by fiscal 2028, the Coast Guard said.

Under a $374 million contract, the company will provide new airframes to the Coast Guard from 2027 at a rate of about one a month.

“The MH-60T is an important part of the execution of many Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, and our service life extension program is vital in maintaining this capability,” Rear Admiral Michael Campbell, Coast Guard director of acquisition programs and program executive officer, said in a statement. “Delivery of this first newly manufactured hull by Sikorsky is an important step in this effort.”

Sikorsky delivered the first airframe that included nose, cabin, and aft transition structures to the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the company said Thursday.

The ALC will now remove all moving components, digital cockpit, mission systems, and engines, rebuilding each aircraft around an all-new airframe, Sikorsky said.


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