NSC Program Review from Defense Industry Daily

Defense Industry daily has published what appears to be a balanced and comprehensive review of the National Security Cutter program. You can check it out here.




17 thoughts on “NSC Program Review from Defense Industry Daily

  1. A question about the NSC. What is the useful internal dimensions of the two helicopter hangars on the Bertholf? Can each hangar hold a H-60 helicopter?

    • I seem to recall that it can take two H-60s. Anyone know for sure?

      This does bring up a couple of items. The original Deepwater project included upgrades to make the MH-60s more effective as surface search and survaillance platforms including switching out the weather radar for a surface search. As far as I know, they have still not decided to pursue that. Until they do the H-60s will not provide the major leap in search capability over the MH-65 that they might have–longer range and endurance, yes; equal or better sensors, no.

      In regard to working with the Navy, while they can land and fuel Navy MH-60s, they chose not to include the Navy RAST helicopter haul down and traversing system, and chose an alternate system that has now been found unsatisfactory. I have never heard any suggestion that the NSC had the storage space for weapons and sonobuoys needed to support Navy MH-60R and S models. I think we missed an opportunity to make these ships useful warships at virtually no cost.

      • The answer is the WMSL flight deck can land an HH-60, but the hangers can not fit them (only HH-65). Surprised that the resident acquistion and naval engineering experts here on your staff (or yourself) didn’t know this already Chuck.

      • This is what the Acquisition Directorate description says, “Aviation Facilities: One MH-65C or MH-60T and two vertical launch unmanned aerial vehicles, or other combinations.” If they didn’t provide hanger space for even one H-60, I have to ask why not?

  2. My original question is more about the future. I used the H-60 as a base line for compersent. What I am getting at is Coast Guard sooner or later going to get tired of rebuilding the MH-65 every couple of years. And finally break down and try to acquire a new Helicopter. Hopefully some thing little bigger than a flying phone booth! Like let say a Augusta Westland AW139. That if one of our sister services like the Air Force decide to buy some in the future. So the Coast Guard can piggy back its procurement of a new helicopter on their program.

  3. Robert,
    This is a great thought because when ships are built we must consider the full time use of this vessel. I don’t know helicopter needs for the pilots but it is interesting what would have a bigger helicopter played out different in say Katrina. Through I did deploy I most worked at a command center, this would have giving the pilots more capacity perhaps. But what would the limitation of a bigger unit, more fuel, less distance?

  4. It’s a whorthwhile question, “What type of helicopter will the CG be flying during the possibly 50 year life of these ships?”

    There will probably always be helicopters with a similar footprint in terms of dimensions and weight to the H-65, so its not like there will not be replacements available, but if the ships are unable to handle the larger helicopter, then we are deciding right now that the CG will always have at least two types of helicopters, one exclusively land based, and a second smaller type that is ship based and possibly land based, precluding the possibility of standardizing on a single type. We are also precluding the ability to take advantage of the additional capabilities of the larger helicopters. Drones are taking over the “recon” role that this type had, allowing search over a much larger area. When it comes time to act on that information a “short range recovery” helo may not have the legs.

    Most of the world’s navies and CGs are going to larger helicopters. Most of these were developed to approximate the foot print of the S-61/H-3 Sea King. Some may have folding tails to allow more compact hangering.
    The H-60 Seahawk used by at least ten different navies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SH-60_Seahawk
    The NH90 used by five European Navies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NHIndustries_NH90
    The CH-148, used by Canada, closely related to the H-60 but with a considerably higher gross weight:
    The AW101 used by five different Navies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AgustaWestland_AW101

    Here is the H-65 for comparison: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-65

  5. Both the Sikorsky S92/CH-148 or the Augusta Westland AW101 helicopter would be a great replacement for the for the Jayhawks, we can only hope! Also for cutter operation once the 210’s are gone, the Coast Guard version of the Navy MH-60S if it can fit in the hangars of the NSC/OPC cutters hangars would be a little pricey but great helicopter. This helicopter is a Navy version of the latest Army Blackhawk utility helicopter. Not the more exotic ASW/Multi mission version MH-60R.

  6. I think the H-60 Blackhawk/Seahawk/Jayhawk/Pavehawk/Firehawk and Whateverhawk seems to be the C-130 of the helicopter world.

  7. Guess the question is still out there. Even if the NSC cannot take the Coast Guard H-60 Jayhawk, can it take the Seahawk with its hinged tail?

  8. Quickly and obviously… No A NSC can’t deploy with a Seahawk. A CG Jayhawk is not eliminated from seaborne duty because it is a Jayhawk, it can be modified to do so. If I can’t secure a Jayhawk properly I can’t secure a MH-60S either. As to the comment about bigger helos are better and the CG is stuck with two types, perhaps you should think that this is a positive. We currenty have a short range and a medium range force mix. If the CG replaced both the MH(HH)-65 and the MH(HH)- 60J then why wouldn’t we look for a short medium force mix in the future? Perhaps the real question is in the 40+ years we likely will use NSC and OPC can someone design a meduim range helo that can be properly secured in the hanger of these class vessels?

    • Matt, I am not sure what you are saying here, “A CG Jayhawk is not eliminated from seaborne duty because it is a Jayhawk, it can be modified to do so.”

      I’m still a little surprised because there was a stated intention to operate the H-60 from the ship and now it won’t fit?

  9. It would be great if the US Coast Guard brought the Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone. It would give my Father who works at Sikorsky a Job to work on. He makes Helicopters and works on the production floor. He builds, Jayhawks, Seahawks, Pavehawks and Blackhawks. From what my father tells me, the Canadians love the CH-148 Cyclone and they are replacing the old Sea Kings.

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