The US Coast Guard (USCG) will transition its rotary wing fleet to a standardised, single platform fleet of Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawks. All USCG MH-65D/E Dolphin Short Range Recovery (SRR) helicopters will be withdrawn from use in the coming years, with the first six already planned for FY 2024.
The USCG operates a fleet of 98 MH-65D/MH-65E Dolphins. In December 2020, Scramble Magazine wrote on the Service Life Extension Programme (SLEP) of the Dolphin to the MH-65E configuration. Full-rate production of the new configuration began in November 2019 and the projected completion of the MH-65E conversion for all 98 helicopters is FY 2024.
According to Loretta Haring, Office of Strategic Planning and Communication (CG-925) Acquisition Directorate, the USCG plans to operate 127 helicopters nationwide and intends to source the additional MH-60T hulls, termed 'fleet growth', through a combination of both newly manufactured hulls and US Navy conversion hulls. The number of each to be used has not yet been determined. The initial phase of fleet growth likely will be 36 hulls.
Credit photo: Robbert Snijders (Scramble Archive)