Below is a story from the Acquisitions Directorate (CG-9). 14 of 18 HC-144s have been missionized with Minotaur. The statement, “The aircraft will be based at Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the first of three to be stationed there” refers only to the “B” model with Minotaur. Three HC-144As were already there and are being replaced by the upgraded aircraft.
The Coast Guard completed work on its 14th HC-144B Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft outfitted with both the Ocean Sentry Refresh (OSR) modifications and the Minotaur mission system Jan. 17. Modifications to CGNR 2318 were completed at the Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The aircraft will be based at Air Station Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the first of three to be stationed there.
The OSR project upgrades the aircraft with a new flight management system, which manages communication control, navigation and equipment monitoring. After the OSR upgrade is completed, each aircraft is redesignated as an HC-144B.
Minotaur integrates installed sensors and radar and provides dramatically improved data fusion as well as information processing and sharing capabilities.
Completion of missionization and upgrade of a 15th HC-144 is scheduled for later this year. Air Station Miami completed transition to the upgraded aircraft in 2022 and Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, transitioned in 2019. The service plans to upgrade each of the service’s 18 HC-144s by the end of 2024, with transition of Air Station Cape Cod and Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama.
For more information: Medium Range Surveillance Program page and Minotaur Program page
I don’t know what made me look but the HC144 is a full 10 tonnes lighter than E2. I know different cabs with different roles with different design philosophies.
Very different aircraft.
Both are small aircraft that carry a lot of electronics and crew. Even though function is different the hardware is somewhat similar ie. computers, screens, network equipment and so on. I even said they are used for different roles so……..
The C-144 does not have to carry that huge radar, have folding wings, or slam down on a carrier deck. The E-2 is a much more powerful and rugged plane. A comparison between the cargo version and the E-2, the C-2 Greyhound and the HC-144 gives a better comparison of the airframes themselves without the huge radar.
Dimensions are similar, in fact the C-144 has greater wing span, but the C-144 has a max takeoff weight of only 60% that of the C-2. The C-144 has 1870 HP engines while the C-2 has 4600 HP engines. The E-2C’s engines are even more powerful, 5100HP. The C-144 has a max speed of 236 knots while the C-2 has a max speed of 343 knots. The C-2 also has a larger cabin.
The C-27J, also flown by the Coast Guard is much closer to the C-2 with about the same power. It is not quite as fast and much less compact.
The E-2 and C-2 were probably restricted in their dimensions by the need to be carrier aircraft, but they packed an awful lot into small dimensions.