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MH-65 Dolphin

Manufacturer: Eurocopter

Service: United States Coast Guard

Power Plant MH-65C: Two 853 shp Turbomeca Arriel 2C2-CG turbine engines

Max Speed: 175 knots (MH-65C)

Range: 290 nautical miles (MH-65C)

Armament: Single 7.62mm M240B/H machine gun, 7.62mm shoulder-fired precision weapon, .50-caliber shoulder-fired precision weapon

Crew: 2 pilots, 1 flight mechanic, 1 rescue swimmer

The H-65 helicopter built by Eurocopter America is the U.S. Coast Guard’s primary rescue helicopter. The Dolphin is certified for operation in all-weather and night-time operations, with the exception of icing conditions. There are 100 H-65s in the inventory. The H-65 is the primary Coast Guard aircraft used aboard certified cutters during deployments.

FLIR, a heads-up display and other avionics upgrades are being installed aboard the H-65 as part of the ongoing conversion-sustainment initiative to sustain the airframe for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the re-designation of Airborne Use of Force (AUF) MH-65Cs reflects the installation of armament and a significantly upgraded communications package.

Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) Jacksonville was the first operational Coast Guard unit to employ the MH-65C and has a total of 10 aircraft assigned to replace the MH-68A Stingray aircraft. The current transition to the MH-65D is designed to address obsolete component issues and is slated to be complete by summer of 2015.

In 2017 the Coast Guard will introduce the MH-65E to the fleet. Currently under development, the MH-65E will feature an all-glass cockpit with advanced navigation capabilities to meet emerging FAA requirements.