USCG orders H-65 helicopter components
The US Coast Guard (USCG) has awarded a $15.9 million contract to Airbus Helicopters to procure three critical structural components for its H-65 short range recovery helicopters, the USCG announced on 14 September.
The contract has been awarded as part of the fleet's Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) and includes the delivery of canopy, centre console floor assembly and the lower right nine degree frame. The USCG has ordered 87 canopies in the base period for delivery over a five-year period.
The SLEP will replace five critical components to improve airworthiness and flight safety of the aircraft, with the aim of extending the service life of the H-65 from 20,000 to 30,000 flight hours and ensuring that the USCG can maintain its H-65 fleet until its planned phase-out between 2035 and 2039.
Contracts for the other two components, the floor boards and side panel, were awarded in May 2018.
The MH-65 is also undergoing avionics upgrades that will convert the airframe to an MH-65E configuration. One low rate initial production aircraft is currently undergoing SLEP and the avionics upgrades; work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.
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