Called missionization, the work involves nose-to-tail modifications to the aircraft to incorporate the radar; sensors; and remaining command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment that enables aircrews to gather and process surveillance information for transmission to shore and surface operators. Minotaur is the mission system software product jointly developed with the Navy, which is government-owned and -operated across multiple platforms used by the departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
The contract calls for production, installation, test and delivery of the Minotaur Mission System Suite on each aircraft. Production on the first aircraft is scheduled to begin in mid-2016 with delivery in spring 2017.
This contract will put into production the mission system prototype the Coast Guard developed in partnership with Naval Air Systems Command.
The search for a nonproprietary and commercially supportable baseline mission system was necessary due to the increasing obsolescence of major hardware and software components within the legacy mission system suite. The Coast Guard selected the Minotaur software because of its open system architecture and ability to run commercial hardware products. The partnership with the Navy offers opportunities for long-term growth and support with reduced life cycle costs due to commonality with the Navy and Customs and Border Protection.
"The award of this contract represents a change in the Coast Guard HC-130J acquisition business model,” said Josh Lyons, long range surveillance aircraft acquisition program manager. “This contract focuses on installation of the mission hardware and relies on the Coast Guard-Navy partnership to manage the design and logistics. This model should increase operational effectiveness and reduce overall life cycle costs.”
The Coast Guard’s HC-130J Super Hercules long range surveillance aircraft provide air transport and long-range maritime patrol capability.