HERNDON, Va., July 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard has taken delivery of another HC-144A maritime patrol aircraft from EADS North America.
The HC-144A Ocean Sentry is based on the Airbus Military CN235 tactical airlifter. With the latest delivery, the Coast Guard operates 14 such aircraft for missions such as search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, cargo and personnel transport, intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance and disaster relief.
The Coast Guard plans for an Ocean Sentry fleet of 36 aircraft.
"We're very proud to support the Coast Guard as it executes an increasingly demanding variety of air and sea-borne missions with a limited number of assets," EADS North America Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sean O'Keefe said.
"The Ocean Sentry is essential to the service's ability to rapidly and affordably project capability where it's most needed."
The aircraft delivered is the third and a 2010 base contract give to North America. An option for three additional aircraft has been exercised and those planes will be delivered next year and in 2014.
EADS North America said each plane delivered to the Coast Guard is equipped with search radar, electro-optical and infrared camera and a system an automated data collection system.