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Fri, Nov 20, 2009

USCG Marks 25 Years Flying The Dolphin

Iconic Orange Helo Well Known In Coastal Communities

The Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter celebrated its 25th birthday Thursday. The service accepted the HH-65A Dolphin helicopter for service on Nov. 19, 1984.

The Dolphin has served the Coast Guard well, and they have another 18 years to go in service before they will be replaced under the Deepwater program. By the end of October, the service had moved 48 of the upgraded MH-65Cs  through their third segment of upgrades. The biggest change is a new engine that provides 40 percent more power and offers greater reliability. The helicopters also have new weapon mounts.

How's that for a birthday gift.

The Military Times reports the MH-65Ds began in-flight testing in March. They will be equipped with a new flight navigation system, which is common to DOD helicopters and replaces the current compass, gyro systems and GPS system.

When the $901 million upgrade is finished in 2017, the Dolphins also will have equipment that will allow them to be secured and transferred to the hangars of the new national security cutters.



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