Dolphin Upgrade Gets Green Light
American Eurocopter (AE) is to re-engine and upgrade the U.S. Coast Guard’s HH-65 Dolphin fleet under the Deepwater program.
AE will manage the conversion of 11 HH-65Bs to the upgraded HH-65C variant at its Columbus, Miss. facility, with the work planned for completion late next year. The program includes an option for upgrading six additional aircraft.
This work will assist the Coast Guard’s program to upgrade its entire HH-65 fleet, which is already under way at the USCG maintenance center in Elizabeth City, N.C. Opening a second line at Columbus will provide additional capacity to accelerate the production rate.
The conversion involves the use of new Arriel 2C2 turboshafts that offer increased power and FADEC. AE will provide the re-engining kits for the conversion of all 96 HH-65s in the Coast Guard fleet; Turbomeca USA will provide the engines.