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contrast to its Coast Guard counterpart the MH-65C Dolphin helicopter, which is able to land on even the smallest flight deck equipped Coast Guard ships, the Jay- hawk is limited to landing on only the larger Coast Guard ships due to flight deck size and weight limitations. How- ever, the Jayhawk’s longer legs, larger cabin and greater lifting ability allow it to complete missions that the Dolphin can- not. With a maximum gross weight of over 21,800 lbs (empty weight of 14,500lbs) the Jayhawk has the ability to carry 18 survivors or 6 armed mission crew members in addition to the crew of four. Its two General Electric T700-401C gas turbine engines give it the ability to lift nearly 4000 lbs externally. Although not able to conduct aerial refueling like some of the other H-60 variants, the Jay- hawk is considered by the Coast Guard to be a Medium Range Response Helicopter capable of flying for over 6 hours and conducting missions up to 300 miles off- shore. The Jayhawk is frequently called upon to conduct missions in some of the most inhospitable environments that heli- copters operate in. Missions range from search and rescue cases for lost fishermen from the western end of the Aleutian Is- land chain in Alaska, to dropping several thousand pound sand bags to control flooding after Hurricane Katrina, to fly- ing long duration missions for Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), a joint DEA, Coast Guard, Bahamian, Turks and Caicos anti-narcotics and anti-migrant smuggling operation in the Caribbean. Much like the Coast Guard’s conver- sion of the HH-65B to the MH-65C which both upgraded the Dolphin’s aging sys- tems and increased its capabilities; the MH-60T project will do the same for the Jayhawk. The Jayhawk fleet is now ap- proaching 20 years old and these aircraft are equipped with avionics that are be- coming obsolete and unsupportable due to the lack of components and production sources. There are really two parts to the Jayhawk’s modernization. The first part of the program is the upgrade that will re- designate the fleet from HH, primarily a rescue helicopter, to MH, a multi-mission helicopter. This is really a result of the Coast Guard’s increased role in Homeland Security after September 11, 2001. These upgrades will not only make the Jayhawk more capable of conducting its legacy

search and rescue mission but also more capable of conducting Homeland Security missions which could range from armed escort of naval vessels or other high val- ued targets to vertical insertion of mem- bers of the Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Response Team for an at sea boarding of a suspicious vessel. The Au- thorized Use of Force Package which is

part of the MH re-designation allows the Jayhawk to carry a 7.62 mm machine gun for warning shots and a .50 caliber long range rifle for precise targeting, such as when disabling the outboard engines on a non-compliant vessel. There is also bal- listic armor to protect the aircrew and an upgraded communications suite that will

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