US Coast Guard receives first new MH-60T airframe

Sikorsky has delivered the first of 45 replacement MH-60T airframes to the US Coast Guard (USCG) as part of a service life extension program for the MH-60T medium-range recovery helicopter fleet.

After a USCG career spanning more than 30 years, the service’s current 45-strong MH-60T Jayhawk fleet is approaching the end of its useful life limit of 20,000 flight hours, with aircraft now averaging 16,000 hours. To extend the service life of these aircraft, the USCG awarded Sikorsky a $374m contract for a life extension programme for all of its 45 MH-60Ts. This will see the dynamic systems components, digital cockpit, mission systems and engines ported over to the all-new airframes. These are planned to be redelivered to the Coast Guard at a rate of 12 airframes per year through to 2027.

The USCG received its first MH-60T helicopter replacement airframe (pictured) from Sikorsky on November 30.
The USCG received its first MH-60T helicopter replacement airframe (pictured) from Sikorsky on November 30. Sikorsky

The first MH-60T helicopter replacement airframe – comprising a nose, cabin and aft transition structures (combined as a single assembly) – was delivered to the USCG on November 30. This represented a significant milestone in the ten-year programme to extend the service life of the USCG’s MH-60T fleet, promising to let the MH-60T continue to fly into the 2040s.

The first MH-60T helicopter to receive the new airframe will be rebuilt at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center (ALC) in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, starting in December 2023. The USCG has authorised Sikorsky to begin full-rate production with the fourth airframe. The H-60 Jayhawk helicopter fleet has saved more than 11,900 lives since 1990, during more than 48,300 search-and-rescue (SAR) missions, totalling more than 730,430 flying hours.