Philadelphia-based Agusta Aerospace recently completed a 15-month project by delivering the last two of eight A109E Power commercial helicopters ordered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Modified with specialized military equipment to support the service’s interdiction mission, the Agusta helicopters bear the Coast Guard designation MH-68 Mako.
Agusta began the task to outfit, modify and produce eight MH-68 Mako weapon systems for the Coast Guard in March last year. Various mission-specific equipment and armament have been integrated with the standard aircraft systems to meet the contract requirements. The final two Makos were delivered to the Coast Guard in August.
As an armed interdiction aircraft, the MH-68 Mako represents the first maritime-deployed aviation asset for the Coast Guard armed with lethal and nonlethal weapons to combat the burgeoning narcotics trade at sea. The MH-68 Makos will be integrated into the Coast Guard Cutter Force to work with small boat teams to apprehend interdiction targets. According to company sources, the speed, agility and overall capability of the Agusta A109 Power will make it the critical element of the service’s interdiction operation.
Strengthening its close working relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard, Agusta continues to support the service’s mission at sea by providing maintenance and support for the delivered Makos.