Military.Com reports that,
“The Coast Guard’s short-range search-and-rescue helicopters are flying at 70% of their potential scheduled hours due to a parts shortage, a situation that could worsen as hurricane season approaches, the service’s top officer told Congress on Wednesday.
“Six Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopters are currently grounded, with four more expected to be out of circulation by June. That’s roughly 10% of the fleet, Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz told the House Appropriations Committee’s homeland security subcommittee April 28.”
The H-65s entered service with the Coast Guard 36 years ago. The Coast Guard is concurrently conducting both service life extension and electronic upgrades on the entire H-65 fleet. I had heard that a couple of airstations would transition from H-65s to H-60s, and that we would begin flying H-60s from cutters, but I was very surprised to see this,
“Schultz said the service must “take immediate action” to transition its entire rotary wing force over to MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters.”
While moving from H-65s to H-60s is something of an upgrade, a complete transition from H-65s to H-60s will be challenging and operating H-60s from 210s may be impossible.
There lots of Airbus 365 derived helicopters out there. Over a 1000 were sold to over 60 different customers. They are used by militaries and civilians all over the world. In 2015 it was announced that Korean Aerospace Industries would begin building new version with an upgraded gearbox. That program apparently resulted in their Light Civil Helicopter and Light Armed Helicopter.
I find it hard to believe we cannot find a source for replacement parts.
Thanks to Walter for bringing this to my attention.