On Watch from Above

HC-130J The Coast Guard, through the U.S. Air Force, recently contracted with Lockheed Martin to purchase three HC-130Js and two C4ISR mission systems. The third plane’s mission system will be added under a future award planned for fiscal year 2013. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard.

In August, a U.S. Coast Guard HC-144A Medium Range Surveillance aircraft spotted a suspected drug smuggling go-fast boat that led to the seizure of 2,420 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $29 million. Last year off the New Jersey coast, a Coast Guard HC-130J Long Range Surveillance aircraft gathered evidence which helped convict scallopers illegally fishing in a closed area placed off limits to aid the recovery of Hudson Canyon’s scallop population.

The Coast Guard relies on a Command, Control, Communica­tions, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) system developed by Lockheed Martin for both the HC-144A and HC-130J airplanes utilized in these missions and is looking to expand its use.

In September, the Coast Guard awarded Lockheed Martin a $19.7 million contract for five Mission Systems Pallets (MSP) for its HC-144A fleet. As part of a $218 million contract also awarded in September through the U.S. Air Force, the Coast Guard is procuring three HC-130Js and two C4ISR mission systems.  The third plane’s mission system will be added under a future award planned for fiscal year 2013.

“Our C4ISR aviation mission systems offer the Coast Guard an affordable, reliable and innovative solution for its critical missions, such as drug interdiction, search and rescue and others,” said Joe Buss, Lockheed Martin’s director for Coast Guard Systems. “These flexible systems can be delivered built directly into the aircraft such as with the HC-130J or as a roll-on, roll-off pallet such as we do for the HC-144A, enabling the Coast Guard to reconfigure the aircraft depending on the mission.”

In addition to the HC-144A and the HC-130J, Lockheed Martin also provides the C4ISR system for the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutters. Lockheed Martin’s C4ISR systems give the Coast Guard a powerful situational awareness tool that provides tactical, real-time intelligence. The systems’ interoperability also allows the Coast Guard’s air and sea assets to work with other agencies and organizations.

Posted on October 8, 2012