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U.S. Coast Guard’s Airbus Ocean Sentry Fleet Attains Flight-hour Milestone

MOBILE, Ala., Sept. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After eight years in service, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) fleet of 18 Airbus HC-144A Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft has surpassed 100,000 flight hours.

Airbus HC-144A Ocean Sentry
The Coast Guard's Airbus HC-144A Ocean Sentry fleet has surpassed 100,000 flight hours, excelling in a range of missions including search and rescue, disaster response and drug interdiction.


/EIN News/ -- A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6d811952-2b2a-4b8a-bb6a-03533f81578c

The flight-hour milestone achievement is a product of the Coast Guard’s dedication to mission performance, but has been made possible by the aircraft’s superior availability and reliability. Airbus and the U.S. Coast Guard commemorated the milestone at the Airbus Defense and Space maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Mobile, Alabama.

“The Ocean Sentry has provided the U.S. Coast Guard the capability to fly more hours per sortie without having to stop to refuel or complete maintenance,” said Capt. Joe Kimball, Chief of the USCG Office of Aviation Forces. “The ability to stay in the air longer with Ocean Sentry has allowed us to increase the effectiveness of our Aviation Assets responding to Coast Guard missions.”

While in service with the USCG, the HC-144A has been involved in 3,500 search and rescue missions saving 620 lives, and supported 8,400 law enforcement missions, including 890 drug interdiction missions. It also played a response role during the recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

"Mobile is proud to be a U.S. Coast Guard city, and it was my pleasure to congratulate them on 100,000 life-saving flight hours with the HC-144,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. “We're proud of our relationship with the Coast Guard and Airbus and the great work they do in Mobile."

Airbus Defense and Space offers comprehensive maintenance, repair and overhaul services, professional engineering and technical support for the aircraft in Mobile.

“Being here in the Gulf Coast, we get to witness every day the continuous support the Coast Guard provides to our region and worldwide across a range of demanding missions,” said Stephan Miegel, Head of Military Aircraft Services, Airbus Defence and Space. “We take a lot of pride watching the Ocean Sentries taking off every day just across the flight line from us.”

The current fleet of Ocean Sentry aircraft operates out of Coast Guard Air Stations in Cape Cod, Mass.; Mobile, Ala.; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Miami. By the year 2022, the fleet is expected to reach 200,000 flight hours.

About HC-144A
The HC-144A Ocean Sentry is a medium-range surveillance aircraft built around the design of the Airbus CN235 tactical air lifter and maritime patrol aircraft, of which more than 235 are currently in operation in 29 countries. The twin-engine aircraft has a flight time endurance of nearly 12 hours and a range of 2,100 nautical miles.

About Airbus Defense & Space: Military Aircraft
An operating unit of Airbus, Airbus Defense & Space: Military Aircraft in Mobile offers complete maintenance, repair and overhaul services, extensive material services, professional engineering, and technical support for transport aircraft. Its 60+-person Mobile operation provides operators of the C212 and CN235 tactical transports with the capabilities of a certified FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency repair station. In 2015 the company opened a new 7,500-square-foot component repair facility, expanding on its 30,000-square-foot maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) delivery center. The component repair facility is an industrial resource to improve customer service for the company’s medium and light multi-mission aircraft operators. The services include hydraulic, avionics, composite and structural repairs; painting; component exchange; and highly skilled engineering support.

Media Contacts:
Quentin Hunstad       703-269-8770        quentin.hunstad@airbus.com
Kristi Tucker              251-434-7456        kristi.tucker@airbus.com  

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