Shark Helicopter




Shark Helicopter

Shark Helicopter

 

Specifications

Primary Function:
Crew:
Engines:
Horsepower:
Length:
Height:
Rotor Diameter:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed:
Initial Climb:
Ceiling:
Range:
Year Deployed:
Year Retired:
maritime patrol
three to six
P&W turoshafts
2 x 567 h.p. ea.
42 ft. 9 in.
11 ft. 6 in.
36 ft. 2 in.
2,500 lbs.
6,300 lbs.
165 mph
180 mph
1,900 fpm
19,500 feet
550 miles
2000
2008

 




The Shark helicopter, also known as the Enforcer and Mako, officially the MH68A Stingray produced by Agusta, was a version of the AW109 utility helicopter specially modified for the United States Coast Guard.

The Shark helicopter of the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) operated out of the U. S. Coast Guard base in Jacksonville, Florida. Eight of the helicopters operated from December of 2000 until being replaced by more modern helicopters in February of 2008. They specializing in airborne use of force and drug-interdiction missions while patrolling coastal waters.

The Shark helicopter was equipped with a .32 cal. machine gun, and a long range .50 cal. rifle. When a suspicious boat would not stop after multiple signals, the Shark helicopter crew next fired warning shots across its bow. If the vessel continued, shots would be fired directly into the boats engines to stop it. That would allow Coast Guard chase vessels to catch up and board the boat.

In addition, the Shark helicopter had a high intensity searchlight, precision radar, forward looking infrared imaging, flotation for ditching into the sea, and a personnel hoist. Night shipboard landings, using night vision goggles combined with a head up display were first performed by the U.S. Coast Guard with the Shark helicopter.




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