Coast Guard orders Airbus planes

Aug. 24, 2010 at 1:31 PM
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ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- EADS-North America will supply three additional Airbus MilitaryCN235s aircraft to the U.S. Coast Guard under a $117 million deal.

The Coast Guard, which holds options for up to six additional aircraft over the next four years, is using the CN235s as a maritime patrol aircraft with the designation of HC-144A Ocean Sentry.

EADS-North America is the prime contractor for the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company's military and defense products sold into the United States.

The HC-144, based on the CN235, plays an important role in Coast Guard aviation, including maritime patrol, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and disaster relief.

The aircraft achieved initial operational capability last year relief operations after Haiti's earthquake.

"The men and women of the Coast Guard have an incredibly wide-ranging and challenging mission and we are proud to provide them with an aircraft that matches their flexibility and readiness," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America's chief executive officer. "This year we've seen the Ocean Sentry tested in some very high-profile missions, and it has delivered every time."

The aircraft will be fitted with a search radar, electro-optical and infrared cameras, an Automatic Identification System for data collection from vessels at sea and a communications suite.

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