The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is a major customer of Airbus Dauphin Program with 98 AS366GA “MH-65” helicopters in operation and more than 1,500.000 Flight Hours logged since entry into service in 1980. The MH 65 Helicopter is the Short Range Recovery (SRR) Helicopter for the USCG. The United States Coast Guard operates from bases all around the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. Maximizing the flexibility of the MH 65, USCG has the capability to ship-deploy the Dauphin for use on USCG Cutters. Airbus is proud to be a strategic through- life partner with USCG and is committed to helping them achieve their mission and long range objectives.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s MH-65 is a version of AS365 N3+ multi-mission helicopter, which incorporates Airbus Helicopters’ Fenestron® tail rotor system and Starflex rotor head for high maneuverability, low noise, excellent efficiency and maximum safety.
The MH-65 excels with its capability to perform missions in the most severe climatic conditions, at high altitude or in hot weather, and its large power margin enables rooftop landings and takeoffs from urban areas in complete safety.
The U.S. Coast Guard has the largest Airbus Helicopter fleet in government service today, flying 101 MH-65 Dolphin multi-mission helicopters based at 18 Coast Guard Air Stations throughout the continental United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The traditional role of this twin-engine aircraft – which is a version of the AS365 N3+ – has been patrol missions and search and rescue flights. Its duties have subsequently been expanded to include the use of armed Dolphin versions for the protection of the U.S. Capital and for the interception/interdiction of vessels at sea, including the famous HITRON mission.
Search and rescue remains one of the key duties for the MH-65 fleet. Dolphins were used extensively in lifesaving operations after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and Hurricanes Harvey and Maria in 2017. These aircraft are routinely deployed on missions from sea level to high-altitude mountainous terrain.