SEVILLE, Spain, March 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and aircraft maker EADS CASA today rolled out the first production airframe of the HC-235A medium-range surveillance maritime patrol aircraft. Produced in Spain with substantial U.S. content, including avionics, propulsion and integrated subsystems, the HC-235A is the first new aircraft developed for the U.S. Coast Guard's Integrated Deepwater System program under contract to Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS).
The first aircraft was unveiled at the EADS CASA plant in San Pablo (Seville) at a ceremony attended by the U.S. ambassador to Spain, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, and senior company executives representing EADS CASA, EADS North America, Lockheed Martin and ICGS, as well as various government officials from both countries. This ceremony marked a significant milestone in development and delivery of the new aircraft for the Coast Guard.
"The HC-235A is an integral component of the Coast Guard's plan for achieving enhanced maritime domain awareness," said Leo Mackay, president of ICGS. "Linked with other Deepwater surface, air and shore system assets through a common operating picture, the aircraft becomes a vital node in the network to help the Coast Guard fulfill its maritime surveillance mission requirements and improve its overall homeland security capabilities."
"The American people depend on the Coast Guard to save lives, to interdict illegal drugs and migrants, to secure the homeland and more," said Vice Adm. Terry Cross, vice commandant of the Coast Guard. "Mission success requires reliable ships, boats and aircraft equipped with modern communications and sensor equipment. That is precisely what our Deepwater program is about, and that is what this aircraft will provide. We are pleased to reach this important production milestone and look forward to taking delivery of the first HC-235A in 2007, so we can put the aircraft to work."
"The entire EADS CASA team is very pleased to celebrate with our partners of ICGS and the U.S. Coast Guard on the roll-out of the first HC-235A aircraft as part of the Deepwater Program," said Francisco Fernandez Sainz, chairman and CEO of EADS CASA. "An important milestone has been reached today".
The HC-235A is manufactured by EADS CASA, under subcontract to Lockheed Martin, for the Deepwater program.
The Coast Guard will use the HC-235A to perform search and rescue missions, enforce laws and treaties including illegal drug interdiction, marine environmental protection, military readiness, and international ice patrol missions, as well as cargo and personnel transport. The size, range and reconfiguration capabilities will fully enable the execution of the multiple missions performed by the Coast Guard.
The current Deepwater plan calls for production and system integration of 36 aircraft through 2017. This first aircraft will be completed and delivered to the Coast Guard's Aviation Training Center in Mobile, AL, in spring 2007.
Integrated Deepwater System
Deepwater is a critical multiyear, multibillion dollar program to modernize and replace the Coast Guard's aging ships and aircraft and improve systems for logistics and command and control. It is the largest recapitalization effort in the history of the Coast Guard. When complete, the interoperable Deepwater system will include three classes of new cutters and their associated small boats, a new fixed-wing manned aircraft fleet, upgraded helicopters, and both cutter-based and land-based unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). All of these highly capable assets are linked by C4ISR systems and are supported by an efficient and progressive integrated logistics system.
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