Under the Integrated Deepwater System Program (IDS Program), the U.S. Coast Guard has upgraded its inventory of forty-two Sikorsky H-60 Jayhawk helicopters from the legacy HH-60J variant to the present MH-60T model.The Deepwater program commenced in 2007 and deliveries are expected to be finished by 2015. Based on Sikorsky’s proven S-70 rotorcraft family which includes the U.S. Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk and the U.S. Navy’s UH-60 Seahawk, the modernized MH-60T Jayhawk is a medium-range armed responder. Due to its intrinsicmarineabilities, the MH-60T Jayhawk is more derivative of the navy-minded SH-60 than the battle-minded UH-60.
Designed to complete long/short range search and rescue, drug interdiction, medevac, cargo lift, and illegal immigration missions, all MH-60T Jayhawks are certified to the U.S. Coast Guard’sAirborne Use of Force (AUF) standards.The MH-60T Jayhawks’ exteriors will not differ dramatically from the legacy variants. However, their interiors will be entirely new-build.
The main upgrades include integrating the rotorcraft with the new Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) and new Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor systems.With the new EO/IR capabilities, the pilot of the MH-60T Jayhawk can identify boat names and the registration information of suspicious vessels from over 300 feet away. Before, U.S. Coast Guard personnel flying from the H-60Js would have to be within 50 feet of boats in order to recognize them.
In addition to the new Rockwell Collins systems, the MH-60T Jayhawks will be receiving new technologies from Goodrich. Goodrich will fit the rotorcraft with its Enhanced Digital Engine Control Units (EDECU) and Advanced Diagnostic Vibration Management System (ADVMS). The EDECU apparatus automatically supplies backup power to the Jayhawk’s engine during emergency situations. The ADVMS digitally monitors vibrations throughout the wings and fuselage to alert maintenance personnel of failing mechanisms.
With its new systems, the MH-60T Jayhawk is expected to remain operational until 2027. Most of the new Jayhawk conversions are completed at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
For armament, the MH-60T Jayhawk is fitted with a 7.62mm machine gun for firing warning shots at non-compliant, suspicious boats. A 0.50-caliber rifle is used for precision targeting, such as shooting out engines on evading boats.
The MH-60T Jayhawks helicopters are based at the following air stations:
- ATC (Aviation Training Center) Mobile, Alabama
- CGAS Kodiak, Alaska
- CGAS Sitka, Alaska
- CGAS San Diego, California
- CGAS Clearwater, California
- CGAS Cape Cod, Massachusetts
- CGAS Elizabeth City, North Carolina
- CGAS Astoria, Oregon
The general characteristics of the MH-60T Jayhawk are as follows:
|Power Plant||Two 1,560-shp General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines|
|Max Speed||180 knots|
|Service Ceiling||18,000 feet|
|Range||700 nautical miles|
|Empty Weight||14,500 pounds|
|Gross Weight||21,884 pounds|
|Armament||Single 7.62mm M240J machine gun; 0.50-caliber shoulder-fired precision weapon|
|Rotor Diameter||53 feet 8 inches|
|Length||64 feet 10 inches|
|Main Rotor Disc Area||2,261 square feet|