EADS North America has delivered the second of four Airbus Military CN235-300 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) to be supplied to the Mexican Navy. The foreign military sales contract for the aircraft is managed by the U.S. Coast Guard, which uses the CN235-300 in the HC-144A Ocean Sentry configuration for missions ranging from search and rescue to drug interdiction.
In January, EADS North America delivered its 13th HC-144A Ocean Sentry to the U.S. Coast Guard, two months ahead of schedule. The service plans to acquire a total of 36 of the twin-engine turboprops.
Mexico is the first U.S. foreign military sales customer for the highly successful Airbus Military CN235 tactical airlifter family, more than 250 of which are already in operation by 27 countries. EADS North America is also supplying spares provisioning, ground support equipment and associated training for the Mexican Navy aircraft.
"The HC-144A is playing a vital role in the protection of our nation with the U.S. Coast Guard, and we're proud to serve our country's national interests by supporting the Mexican Navy with a similarly important capability," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO.
The CN235-300 MPAs enhance Mexico's ability to support the Mérida Initiative, a cooperative security arrangement between the U.S., Mexico and Central American countries. The new aircraft's missions include homeland security, search and rescue, military readiness, cargo and personnel transport, drug interdiction and maritime environmental protection.
The MPA configuration of the CN235 incorporates the latest technology developed for surveillance over the sea. The combination of a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system and search radar allows the aircraft to locate and track ships to conduct thorough patrols of a coastline. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) help make this aircraft the ideal tool to carry out military surveillance missions for the Mexican Navy. The FITS was developed by Airbus Military and ensures that the extensive data gathered by the aircraft's onboard sensors can be easily used by the crew to execute their mission.
Source: European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V. (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Feb 29, 2012