DHS approves C-27J next phase
The US Coast Guard’s Medium Range Surveillance (MRS) Aircraft programme has reached a new milestone, with the Department of Homeland Security clearing the programme to move into its next phase, the coast guard announced on 14 November.
The coast guard is receiving 14 C-27J aircraft from the US Air Force under the programme. Under the next phase – the Produce/Deploy and Support phase – the focus will shift to providing full logistics support to field units. It will also allow the coast guard to proceed with mission systems integration.
The MRS programme has had to develop new maintenance procedures, training plans and means for obtaining spare parts as the aircraft began arriving from the air force. At the same time, planning has had to take into account operations for the HC-144 Ocean Sentry acquisition, which is also managed under MRS.
The US Coast Guard is working with Naval Air Systems Command to develop systems that will enhance and expand the aircraft’s capabilities for its specific mission needs. The C-27J mission package is based on the US Navy’s Minotaur mission system suite that the coast guard is implementing across the rest of its fixed-wing fleet.
Rick Seitz, MRS programme manager, said: ‘The C-27J programme is not a normal acquisition. In a normal acquisition, a programme will have three to five years to complete all the documentation to reach an acquisition decision event (ADE) and will then begin receiving aircraft.
‘In this case, the aircraft came first. As a result, the programme team had to play catch-up, knocking out all the documentation necessary to reach a successful ADE result in less than a year and a half.’
Nine C-27Js have completed the regeneration process to bring them out of long-term storage. Two more are expected to be accepted before the end of 2016.
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